Here’s a confession: I get more excited about my kid’s birthday than I do about my own. There’s nothing quite like seeing the face of your geeklet light up when they unwrap a gift. The excitement, the surprise, the possibility of a new toy. It’s the feeling you get when you boot up your new laptop or watch a video on your iPhone for the first time, but somehow better.
Not all kids are as lucky. Nearly 13 million children in the U.S. live at or below the poverty level. Their parents can barely afford food, housing, or education, much less a gift for their kids’ birthdays.
The recently launched OnYourBirthday.org aims to help kids in need celebrate their birthdays with surprise gift donations. Rod Alberts, President, explains that his daughter, Annie, was really the catalyst behind the charity:
"It all started early one Saturday morning a week before my daughter’s fifth birthday… Annie and I decided to do some Internet shopping to [pick out a gift]… Unexpectedly, in a quiet moment, Annie asked, ‘Are there boys and girls who don’t get presents on their birthdays?’ I told her that, sadly, there are many children who probably don’t get birthday gifts. She quickly responded, ‘Can’t we give them presents?’"
You can choose to "gift" a child via the website, which puts $30 toward their birthday. The tax-deductible donation goes toward a personalized birthday card, a book chosen for the child, and a stuffed animal for younger kids or a Target gift card for older ones.