Pink Shirt Day – 4 Canadian charities putting a stop to bullying

Pink shirt day began as a community-organized project after a grade 9 student at a high school in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to class. Led by fellow classmates David Shepard and Travis Price, they stood up against the harassment and discrimination shown to their friend. This happened 14 years ago, and has blossomed into an amazing day that aims to raise awareness for bullying, as well as raising funds for programs helping children and teens.

This day is meant for the most vulnerable, children and teens who are struggling with bullying.  On February 24th, we wear pink shirts to show our support.

We’ve put a list of Canadian charities focused on anti-bullying that you can support with your next Wish & Give party.

Pink Shirt Day

The Pink Shirt organization works with over 900 anti-bullying programs. All donations go toward programs that help decrease bullying and the effects that it has on kids. Some charities that are included are Kids Help Phone and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. The Pink Shirt organization has helped by encouraging people around the world to come together, wear pink and fight bullying on February 24th.

Bullying Canada

Bullying Canada is an anti-bullying charity that provides resources and support to kids and teens who have been subjects of bullying. They provide education on bullying as well as 24/7 support from parents, coaches and teachers. It was created by 17 year old Rob and 14 year old Katie who were severely bullied in 2006.

PFLAG – Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

PFLAG stands for Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It is a Canadian charity that assists family and friends to better understand and support those close to them who are going through their coming out process. This can be a stressful period with many adjustments, which is why PFLAG offers resources, online counselling and local chapters. They feature stories of individuals on their website who have been a part of the PFLAG community and how it has helped them become who they truly are!

Dare to Care

Dare to Care was developed in 1999 to deal with issues of bullying in schools all across Canada. This organization specifically offers programs in schools to educate students and faculty on the signs of bullying and what to do if you encounter it. They offer 3 programs, one for students aged 5 to 25, one for parents, and another for teachers and staff, essentially covering all the areas where bullying can be recognized better. These programs allow the community to take action and do something about bullying in their schools. Recently, with COVID-19 affecting in-person school attendance and the fact that cyberbullying has gone up 70% during the pandemic, they are now offering a virtual program.

Give Back

We’d love to help you give back to one of these amazing organizations for your next party. Whether virtual or in person, birthdays are a great time to give back.  Our invitations ask guests to contribute to a group gift and a donation to charity.  Get started at www.wishandgive.ca.

Why Gift Giving is important – even for Virtual Parties

“Mom, does COVID mean I won’t get anything for my birthday?”

It’s the question you’re dreading if your child has a birthday coming up. You want the day to be special—to include things that can help them feel normal and safe, but it isn’t easy, is it? 

So what do you do?  

If your kids are like mine, they’ve been planning their birthday all year long. Not only do they look forward to their own birthdays, they eagerly anticipate attending their friends’ birthday parties and making them feel special.

 Virtual parties and drive by greetings are a great solution.  These are amazing ways to pivot the traditional birthday party and help kids feel celebrated, special and—most importantly—loved.

Giving Gifts, Safely 

Just because it’s a virtual party or a drive by greeting, doesn’t mean the birthday kid needs to forego their gift. Giving is important, it’s their birthday after all!

At Wish & Give, we get it. It really is better to give than receive. (Though receiving is pretty good too!) Giving gifts isn’t only important for the birthday kid; it’s important for guests too! But actually going to a store these days can seem like taking your life in your hands. 

Great News

Here’s the thing: Wish & Give’s invitations have always been virtual! Our invitations mean that your guests can virtually contribute to an amazing group gift and, to keep that goodness going, a donation to charity.  It’s win-win for everyone! Your birthday kid can choose the gift or experience they really want and experience the joys of kindness and generosity by fundraising for their favourite cause.  

The Birthday Kid Wins:
  1. Lets your child know they are loved and remembered by friends near and far
  2. They’ll receive the gift or experience they actually want
  3. Teaches them how to support a cause they care about
  4. Feels like they’re part of something with their friends, supporting a common cause
 Guests want to give!
  1. Feels good about giving a gift in a safe, meaningful and easy way
  2. Opportunity to support charity – a dose of happy hormones!
  3. Stress-free giving – (no masks, gloves or hand sanitizer required!)
  4. Saves time – no shopping, no wrapping

Parties may have changed a little, but kids still need a chance to celebrate and be celebrated. While we all look forward to a swift resolution to the crisis this pandemic has caused, in the meantime, you can help your kid feel amazing.  

 Get started with your Wish & Give invitation at www.wishandgive.ca  and don’t by shy to ask your guests for gifts!  They want to give.

5 Zoom Backgrounds for your Virtual Party

Introducing background photos and videos for your virtual birthday party!  As if a Zoom party wasn’t fun enough, we’ve brought it to the next level with these fun background images and videos.  Get your party hat on!

Click on each video or photo below to download to your computer and lets get the party started!

We’ve created  5 fun images or videos below to enhance your virtual party experience!  Share with your guests ahead of time to make the party even more entertaining!  Don’t forget to take a photo or screen shot of your party and share on social media.  Tag us, we’d love to see how you celebrated virtually!

Party Hat Fun

Add a party hat to the birthday kid or grown up with this fun download!  Email the video to your guests so everyone can where a virtual party hat!  Don’t forget to take a picture of everyone or a screen shot to remember this special occasion.

Cheers

Have a virtual cheers with your friends!  Download this video and share it with your friends before your Zoom party.  Everyone can change their background for a virtual cheers. Don’t forget to take a screen shot of everyone!  This is definitely Instagram worthy!

Party Pop

Having a super hero themed virtual party?  Download this video to make your party pop!  Share it with your friends too for a super fun party experience.

Donut Fun

Who wouldn’t love to be surrounded by virtual donuts?!  Be sure to share with the photo with your friends so everyone can enjoy one!

Zoom background photo for your next virtual party

Sweet as an Angel

Have some angels in your party?  Share these fluttering wings with everyone and turn your party into a dream!

How to Change your Zoom Background

If you are the party host, set up a Zoom account, schedule a meeting and share the link with your guests via your Wish & Give invitation.  If you have purchased a party package through Petit Party or All Wrapped Up, you will receive a Zoom link from the entertainer to include in your invitation.  If you are the guest, click on the link and enter the party.

Once logged into the party,  find the video camera icon, usually in the bottom right corner if you are on a laptop.  There is a little up arrow to the right of the video camera icon, click this arrow and it will give you the option to change your virtual background.  In the pop up box, click the little ‘+’ to choose your own photo or video as the virtual background.  It will then allow you to browse your computer and select your own photo or video.  Find the one that you saved from this blog and click open,  it will automatically appear as your background!

For more help click here .

Don’t forget to Share

Have fun and Happy Birthday!  Don’t forget to take a screen shot or photo of your virtual party and tag us (@wishandgive)!  We’d love to see how you use these backgrounds to celebrate your  next party!

And check back for more photo options!  We’ll add to this post regularly.

Virtually Brilliant Birthday Party Ideas

 

We’ve put together a list of helpful resources and ideas for hosting a virtual party while we are home bound during the Corona-19 Virus and practicing physical distancing.  Now more than ever it’s important to celebrate the kids in our lives, keep socializing and stay connected to our friends safely from our own homes.

We’ve come up with a list of virtual party packages, party ideas and online invitations that give back.

Virtual Party Packages 

Let’s keep celebrating kid’s birthdays virtually!

Petit Party – Parties that Give Back

Petit Party has a virtual party package that gives back!  Every party booked through Petit Party includes a donation to Birthday Angels, an amazing nonprofit that provides party packages for those living in shelters.  Your party package includes one of the following amazing Canadian artists or business:

Each artist will host your party via Zoom and the birthday kid will receive a video keepsake. Your invitations ask the guests to contribute to a group gift and a donation to charity in lieu of individual gifts.  Support small business, give back and have a fun party! To book your party click here contact Petit Party.

Get started at petitparty.ca

All Wrapped Up

All Wrapped Up Events, a local Hamilton business, will host your virtual party for you!  They will provide you with the Zoom link, the entertainment and host the party for you!  Choose from a variety of entertainers including princesses or superheros. It’ll all be recorded so the birthday boy or girl can watch it over and over!  To book contact All Wrapped Up.

Book at www.allwrappedupevents.ca

Mini Kinz

Minikinz is a professional children’s entertainment company that is now taking their birthday packages online! Enjoy a video gram, meet and greet, or virtual birthday party from one of their many characters or entertainment packages all from the comfort of your own home.

To register a princess, super hero, paint night, dance party or interactive virtual magic show, visit www.minikinz.ca to find out more.

More Unique Virtual Ideas:

3 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday Virtually During COVID-19
Invite your friends to join a virtual baking competition, choose a theme or a picture, bake at home and join a virtual call to show off your creations.

Virtual Baking Competition       

 Bake from home and show off your creations virtually via Facetime or Zoom!  Get inspired from the popular baking shows ‘Nailed It’ or ‘Sugar Rush’ or your favourite baking show.  For a Nailed It style competition, choose a picture and have everyone replicate it. For a Sugar Rush style party, choose a theme and see how each family interprets the theme.  Both ways are so much fun and will spark lots of laughter and joy!

Fitness Party

Host a virtual yoga party!  Hire a personal instructor to join your party. With all the anxiety right now it’s a great time to get kids to stretch, breathe and relax through yoga.  Find an instructor to join your virtual party through FitIn, a community-based directory of online classes.  Good anytime too, not just for a party!

Find an instructor through FitIn www.fitin.io 

Dance Party

Host a virtual dance party.  Our friends at Superfly will virtually provide the DJ, 2 dancers and a custom playlist.  Invite as many as you want to join in virtually!

Book at www.superflyentertainment.com

Birthday Parade

Know someone who has a birthday coming up?  Drive by their house, text them when you are outside and invite them to come out to their porch and then sing happy birthday from the car or sidewalk!  Make their day special from a distance.

Invitations that Give Back 

Wish & Give invitations ask guests to contribute to a group gift and a donation to a Canadian charity or nonprofit.

Wish & Give

Perfect anytime, but especially right now while we can’t shop or meet in person!  Each free online invitation through Wish & Give asks guests to contribute to a cash group gift and a donation to charity.  Our local charities need us more than ever right now. And the birthday kid still receives a gift from their friends!

Throw your virtual party today!  Include a Zoom link in the invitation and gather your friends online.

Start your invitation at www.wishandgive.ca

Happy Birthday to all our Canadian kids!  We hope this time can be special for you…different yes, but still special!

 

 

3 Ways to Have a Virtually Brilliant Birthday during COVID-19

There’s no doubt about it: things are a little crazy right now. But in the midst of the fear and anxiety over COVID-19, celebrations are all the more important.

In my family we have five birthdays in the next few weeks. Since we all live in different parts of the world, we don’t usually get together. But over time, we’ve learned a few clever tricks to make birthdays special even when we’re miles apart. So if you or your kids have a birthday in the next couple of weeks or months, here are three ways to “lock down” your birthday celebration and have some safe, friendly fun in the midst of a pandemic.

  1.   Virtual Baking Competition

Do you love baking shows? My family does. And you can do your very own family bake-off using your favourite social media tools. This year, the cousins in our family are getting together to do a Sugar Rush style competition virtually. We’ve chosen one day to bake a spring-themed cake or dessert—you can choose whatever sparks joy for you! Once your confections are done, connect with your family and show off your creations. (You can even get Grandma and Grandpa to judge!)

  1. Throw a Virtual Party

You can’t catch COVID-19 over the Internet, thank goodness! Plan a time with your friends, create a  Zoom link (free for up to 100 connections) and invite your friends and family and come together for a virtual party.

Add in an online quiz where everyone uses their smart phone to answer questions—a fun and friendly competition! There are lots of choices online—my favourite is Kahoot. Just set up the quiz ahead of time and everyone can use their smart phone to answer in real time.  It’s a great way to get to know the honoured guest.

If your kids are missing their school friends, you can also use Zoom to help them get together. Ask the class parent to send the link to the class so that everyone can come online and sing happy birthday to your child. (You’ll also be giving all those kids’ parents a few seconds of break.)

One bonus? There’s no limit to the guest list when it’s virtual!

  1. Donate to Charity

Now more than ever our small Canadian charities will need our support. They are often on the front lines helping people access food and essential services.  Set up a Wish & Give link and ask your friends to donate in lieu of individual gifts. Your local food bank will thank you!

You can contribute the cost of dinner or bottle of wine to the charity of your choice and use your birthday to spread a little compassion during a crisis. I promise you’ll feel great about yourself. Win-win!

Celebrate your Co-workers in a fun & easy way!

We have a solution to improve office celebrations and make everyone feel great at the same time!

Do you celebrate birthdays, weddings or new babies at work?  We hope so!  We spend more time with our co-workers than our own families sometimes.  They deserve to be celebrated!

But who is organizing these celebrations?  Who passes around a card, tracks the contributions on excel, buys the gift or gift card?  It’s a lot of work and usually falls to the same staff person over and over.

Remember the last time an envelope was passed around the office to collect cash for a co-workers upcoming wedding or baby shower but not having any cash on hand to contribute?  Were you the one passing it around, trying to track said envelope each night, tracking contributions and sending reminders?

Wish & Give will make celebrating and gifting your co-worker easier!  And help everyone feel great at the same time!  A win-win.

Wish & Give is an online invitation platform that manages group gifting.  The twist?  Every invitation includes an option to donate to the honoured guests favourite charity. 

Science has proven it feels good to give, so you’re basically giving a shot of happiness to your entire department!

To get started, create your free personalized invitation online at www.wishandgive.ca and send the personalized URL to your department.  Everyone can contribute with their credit card with a few easy clicks.  Wish & Give will send the cash to the honoured guest and to the charity.   Office parties have never been simpler.

 

3 Birthday Party Trends – That are here to stay!

Birthdays are a big deal!  And should be celebrated!  Here are 3 trends that we hope/know are here to stay!

1. Group Gifts with a Charitable Donation

No more shopping!!  Woohoo!  This trend is here to stay.  Parents can set up their invitation online through Wish & Give (www.wishandgive.ca) and the guests contribute toward a group gift and to the charity of hosts choice.  A win-win.

Doing everything online saves the guest parent at least an hour, maybe more, from having to drive to the store, pick out a piece of nonrecyclable plastic, find the wrapping paper, wrap it…you get my point.  Plus, it’s environmentally friendly.  The birthday kid can use the cash gift for an experience, one larger gift or save it and learn the value of a dollar.  And we all get to feel great about giving to a local charity.

And don’t forget it’s a great way to teach both the birthday kid and the guest kids the importance of giving back!  Special events turned into important life lessons.  A win-win!

Create your personalized invitation at www.wishandgive.ca

2. Sustainable Loot Bags

What kid doesn’t go giddy over a tiny plastic jar of slime or a plastic slinky, but then it just ends up tossed to the side after a few hours of entertainment.  Not to mention the environmental waste plastic causes.

Candy is another sticky subject.  Do kids really need more sugar after a party?

A few sustainable options we love for loot bags:

  • Books
  • Tee shirt or pajamas
  • Gift card to a local café, ice cream store or bookstore
  • Upcycled plastic toys from www.tinytoyco.com
3. No Cupcakes at School

Save the treats for the party and at home! With 20+ kids in the class, kids are getting extra treats almost every week at school!  Passing out treats is one more time (20 more times) kids with allergies are ‘different’ and can’t partake in the celebration.  A few years ago my school banned treats and I’m all for it!

Still want to do something at school? Have your child pick out a new book for the classroom.  Or talk to the teacher about how they mark this special occasion.  There are lots of ways to make each child feel special without treats involved!

 

How to Reduce Clutter, Prevent Lego-Related Food Injuries and Make a Better World

Maybe you’re the world’s most organized person. Maybe your house is always clean, the laundry is always done, and the children’s toys are in labelled compartments, neatly stored in their rooms.

Or maybe your house looks a little more like mine with a healthy sprinkling of LEGO, books and miscellaneous art projects on almost every surface. I love Christmas, but there is a part of me that looks with unspeakable dread at the piles of toys knowing that more ‘stuff’ has just landed into my home.  The feeling is compounded with one birthday in the fall and the second in late winter! It would be easy to shake my fist at the toy companies, but the problem is that I’m partly responsible, too.  I can’t blame all the stuff on the grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, I also like to shop for them and spoil them on birthdays and holidays.

But sometimes, countless gifts aren’t the best way to show love. Instead of excitement, kids can quickly get overwhelmed by too many choices, bouncing from one gift to the next until they’re sitting in the middle of a pile of toys saying, “I’m bored!”

While it’s amazing and fun to celebrate each other at birthdays (and we should), do we need to celebrate with more stuff?

In October 2017 I launched WISH & GIVE —a different way to celebrate (and save your feet from stepping on discarded toys)!  Each event supports a local charity or non-profit.  It’s not only for children’s parties but grown-up parties too.

By using WISH & GIVE for birthday parties, children still receive a gift, but guests are asked to contribute towards one bigger, more meaningful, gift and to give a donation to charity on the child’s behalf. Imagine this: Instead of your child opening yet another stuffy that will collect dust one day, your child gets something they actually wanted, and they get to feel good about giving back.

What you support is completely up to you! I’d encourage you to sit down together to choose a charity or non-profit to support. You search by postal code to find a charity near you. It’s a great way to discover the amazing things happening right in your backyard. All 86,000+ charities in Canada are on the site and any non-profit can be added (just contact me at info@wishandgive.ca).

By refocusing celebrations, starting with young children, we will raise a generation of thoughtful, caring individuals who are just as concerned about the world around them as they are their own wellbeing.  I’m seeing the fruits of this with the kids who have already used WISH & GIVE for their birthday.

So here is to less stuff (and foot injuries and clutter) and more giving!