on Jul 14, 19

A birthday filled with joy

- By Emma Rzepecky, Good Giver.

When invited to a birthday party, one of the first things you think is “ooh what should I get them?” 

Traditionally, this has meant ‘things’ – a new My Little Pony toy if it’s a kid; a Whitcoulls gift card for the pre-teen reader; a new ceramic bowl for the adult birthdayer. 

And while all gifts are totally appreciated, not all gifts are created equal...

Recently I celebrated my 21st birthday. Instead of sitting back and letting the gifts come as they may, I decided to take control of the giving. For good. 

I used The Good Registry to create a birthday registry, and asked my friends, co-workers and family to channel their gifts and donate to Camp Quality NZ instead. 

My generous friends, family, and colleagues raised $1,615, an amazing feat that brought me a lot of joy. More joy than if I had got that amount of money worth of physical gifts. 

A ton of joy also came from reading the comments left on my registry. It was so cool to see the wealth of support from everyone in my life (and even someone who doesn’t know me but who supports Camp Quality).

I even printed out the comments (not so planet-friendly) and stuck them into my birthday book that has notes from friends and family who came to my party, photos and my birthday cards.

And even though the majority of my gifts went towards my registry, there were still people who decided to get me something small as well/instead. But it felt different – the gifts were so thoughtful and lovely. They were more than just ‘things’.

A beautiful laminated poem about what I was like as a young footballer; a jewellery set my Grandad gave my Grandma for her 30th anniversary; a lovely bunch of flowers. 

Things I will cherish for a long time (even the flowers as I am currently drying/pressing them to save). 

The reasons behind me using a charitable registry are for me, for my chosen charity, and for the environment. 

Mainly, the charity I chose – Camp Quality New Zealand – is an amazing organisation that provides a week of magic for children living with cancer. 

I am privileged to be a volunteer with the charity and have been to a camp. I have seen first-hand the awesome experiences these kids get, and the growth they experience while being treated like any other kid for the week. 

This inspired me to fundraise for them for my birthday. 

I also love the idea that the $1,615 is a sustainable use of money, going to a good cause, rather than on not planet-friendly things.

If anyone is hesitating at the thought of setting up a birthday registry – give it a go! You won’t even know the people in your life that will think it is cool.

I was nervous to share the link with my colleagues because I thought they would think it was weird to fundraise for your birthday. But they really got into it!

I also had a lot of great conversations with them about fundraising and the awesome work Camp Quality does. Conversations that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t sent that link.

Also your friends, family, colleagues, or party guests (and more) don’t have to gift to your registry. They can get you gifts or not at all, it’s an option but not the only one. Explaining this made a few people (like my Grandma) a little bit happier with the whole process.

I am so grateful to have this amazing platform – The Good Registry – to use my birthday for good. And so grateful to everyone who donated on my behalf!

Definitely have a go at creating one yourself for your favourite charity (over 60 to choose) and spread the good. You won’t regret it.

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