on Apr 26, 18

How to use a birthday celebration to help save the whales

Kirsty Fyfe pledged her 50th birthday to support Project Jonah, which exists to respect and protect marine mammals.

Instead of gifts, 12 friends who joined Kirsty for a birthday lunch made donations through her birthday page at The Good Registry, and together they contributed $520.

Kirsty says she felt much happier knowing that the money her friends spent will help to do good, rather than being spent on gifts she didn’t need.

We caught up with Kirsty, wished her a very happy birthday, and asked her about her experience of using her birthday for good.

What was the biggest upside to using The Good Registry for you?

As I was turning 50, there was nothing I actually needed so all I wanted was to have a lovely lunch with a bunch of girlfriends. However I knew that some would want to give me a present or those who couldn’t attend would want to acknowledge my birthday in some way, so directing people to give to charity instead made complete sense.

What was the reason that you chose Project Jonah?

I was environment reporter down in Nelson years ago during various large strandings of pilot whales over in Golden Bay, which made a huge impact on me. In addition, my niece, who lives in Nelson, has been trained by Project Jonah in whale rescue. I’ve never actually donated to them before, despite loving our marine mammals, so it was about time I helped them in some way.

What felt good about the experience for you?

That my birthday created an opportunity to raise money for charity rather than for me to have gifts I really didn’t need. And my friends are a very generous bunch, so of course I’m delighted with the amount they donated to Project Jonah. Plus, they put a lot of effort into writing lovely cards to me — and in one case photoshopping some amazing photos for me. It is possible they may not have done so if they had also bought presents, so I have some really touching messages to keep.

What feedback did you get from your friends?

My friends were really impressed with the concept and I received a lot of positive feedback. It was a very easy and quick process for them.

What would you say to someone else celebrating their 50th and thinking about giving away their birthday for good?

I totally recommend it. My friends felt good about giving to charity, I felt good about giving to charity and it meant that the focus of my lunch was about friendship rather than my opening presents. Result for good!

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