Do you consider yourself a philanthropist? A giver? A good person? I’m not sure I would count myself as fitting squarely into any of those categories. My best friend is always telling me that I’m a good person, but I don’t really buy it. I do know that I have good intentions. It’s a start, but it’s not always good enough. For instance, I intended to “adopt” a child or family for Christmas last year. I even went so far as to contact a few organizations that do that kind of thing in San Diego. But then I got busy with my own world and December just kind of got away from me.
Enter Hippi Longstockings! They gave me the little push and the perfect outlet to give back to my community. I caught their Facebook post about needing donations for a birthday party they were hosting for a group of kids at a local shelter with the Becky’s House program. Reading their post about this party lit a fire in me and I was immediately excited to share my time and party styling expertise with this group of kids. The cause struck me as extremely important and it was such a great fit for me because I love kids and I love to plan and decorate for parties. I really wanted to help and I was thrilled when Amy confirmed that they could use my services.
Because I felt so strongly, I figured I wouldn’t be the only one who would be passionate about giving these children a fabulous birthday party when they might not otherwise have one at all. I decided to reach out to the California Party Professionals (CAPP) group that I belong to and they did not disappoint. Several vendors came forward to offer their products, time, and support for this event. Hippi Longstockings received yummy cake pops from Yaya’s Sweet Surprise Cakery, beautiful personalized cookies from The French Confection Co., and adorable take-and-make craft favors from Sweet Pop Studio. Silvia from Classy Detailed Events donated her time to help set up the party. Her and her husband, Jose, were invaluable in getting everything together. Montrilla from Lavender Pudding Events generously donated birthday gifts for several of the kids too. I am so proud to be part of this group of talented, supportive, and giving individuals!
On the day of the party we had 1 hour to set up before the kids arrived. Now, I’ve setup for a party in 2 hours but I usually prefer at least 3 hours… even better if the space is available the day (or days) before. Did I mention that I had no idea what space looked like before I arrived? One hour, mystery party location, no biggie. All I could do was to assemble my printables, prep some general decorations, pack up a few dishes and party props, and hope for the best. Fortunately, the space turned out to be kind of perfect. There was a colorfully painted fence to use as a backdrop, picnic tables for the abundance of gifts and favors, and a tree to hang the piñata from. Score! Even better, the other volunteers were more than I could have hoped for. We had an event planner that knew what she was doing and didn’t require direction, her fantastically helpful husband, and an elementary school teacher that could be a budding chalk artist. Along with Amy and Ryan from Hippi Longstockings, we got everything set up with a few minutes to spare. We had just enough time to take a quick group picture before the kids arrived. I was amazed and grateful that it all worked out so well in such a short amount of time.
There were definitely some magic moments during the party that really stick out in my memory. Amy painted faces and it was amazing to see their expressions of joy when the kids saw their faces transformed into tigers and butterflies. The face paint itself really wasn’t the best quality, but Amy had a great attitude about it and did a fantastic job with what she had to work with. I also loved seeing the kids hit the piñata and rush to gather up their treats when it burst. Some of the smaller kids were fierce with the piñata stick and I was thoroughly impressed. When it came time to open gifts, it was really touching to see how excited some of the kids were. Who knew that a pair of Care Bear pajamas could cause such a frenzy of excitement?? Lastly, this reel of highlights wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Ryan’s attempt at creating balloon animals. A professional balloon artist he is not, but he sure was entertaining to watch as he tried to make a balloon butterfly. To quote Ryan about his lessons learned, “Freestyling a balloon animal is always a bad idea.” In the end the kids had a great time and that was the whole point. Success!
The cake was generously donated by Nothing Bundt Cakes and it was delicious!
This was such a great idea for a favor from Lisa at Sweet Pop Studios. Each basket was personalized with the child’s name and included a pot filled with soil, craft supplies to decorate the pot, and some sugar snap pea seeds to plant. Not only was this favor cute, but it was also great for the variety of ages we were catering to. Thanks Lisa!!
This impromptu Happy Birthday sign with a simple balloon banner turned out pretty cute.
Yaya’s Sweet Surprise Cakery was kind enough to make these adorable rainbow cake pops and ship them to San Diego for the kids. Thanks Yaya!
A rainbow palette of my Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies. Mmmmm…
Printable banner and decor from yours truly. Rainbow colors are so much fun to work with.
Look at this group of good-looking and hard-working volunteers! Amy and Ryan aren’t stopping after this party… they are embarking on the Gift of Good Tour on April 1, 2104. This is a non-profit mission to touch as many lives as possible around the United States. At their many stops they will be feeding the hungry, hosting birthday parties similar to this one, and promoting their core business to support local women and children’s shelters. The tour schedule is below if you want to see if they are coming to a city near you. These are really cool people and they are doing amazing work. I’m proud to have helped them out and I hope I can do more for them in the future. Good luck with the tour you guys!