I recently found a copy of the book PhilanthroParties: A Party-Planning Guide for Kids who Want to Give Back at our local library. I was excited to see this book as I was talking with another mom about our daughters getting to an age where they no longer desire gifts at Birthday parties but want to do something a little different. This book is all about parties with a purpose.
There are 36 different party ideas presented that have some type of service or social theme. It includes games and craft ideas along with recipes that can be used during the party. As someone that plans student engagement for college students, I wanted to see if any of the ideas could be used for our activities.
Overall, I am impressed by the author, Lulu Cerone, and the ideas she presented geared towards youth. Lulu is a young adult that was inspired to help when she was 10 years old after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. She created her own nonprofit, LemonAID Warriors, and is a great example to other young people that you are never too young to serve.
While the books provides lots of ideas for parties with a purpose, I do wish there was more emphasis on the awareness and the “why” for the parties. Most of the parties involve a collection aspect – dental hygiene items, non-perishables, stuffed animals, etc. There are also a lot of tips on planning the logistics. But just as I mentioned in my earlier post, Creating Highly Effective Service Programs for Young People, there must be more discussion with youth about why there is the need for service – a need for collecting the items. This should be the true purpose behind the project.
I did enjoy the Parent’s Note towards the end of the book. It touches on the fact that the reasons for a lot of service is because something negative happened. Lulu’s mom does a great job at addressing her role and how she manages these topics.
And as much as I tried to shield Lulu from the negative images in the media, I couldn’t always be there to control her environment. As her access to technology increased, so did her exposure to the even harsher realities of the world outside our community. So I decided that if I couldn’t shield my young daughter from the world, I could at least help her make sense of the information she was receiving. (pg 190)
I am very pleased with this book and the introduction it can provide to youth about service. It does allow opportunities for young children to start getting a sense that no matter what age they are – they CAN make a difference. I will definitely use it as a starting point with my own daughter and as a logistical guide for my college students who can always use some help with event planning checklists.
Check back later to see how my own daughter will use tips from this book to plan her own Parties with a Purpose and work towards her Girl Scouts Bronze Award.