It’s always better to give than receive, especially when you’re helping those less fortunate.

Scott Brooks of Kentucky opted years ago to turn his birthday celebrations into charity benefits.

Each year he asks guests to forgo birthday gifts for him. Instead, he requests they bring an item to donate to a charity of his choice. Brooks chooses a different charity each year.

charity birthday party donation
Donated items brought by guests fill a table at Scott Brooks’ recent Birthday Charity Bash in Louisville, Ky.

“My closest friends in previous years complained that I was difficult to buy for (for) a birthday present,” Brooks said. “So I thought, ‘Why do I need a present when someone else more deserving can use it?’ Henceforth came Birthday Charity Bash 1.”

Scott Brooks hosts a Charity Birthday Party
Scott Brooks

Keeping the tradition of giving back

He recently turned 38 and celebrated with Birthday Charity Bash 6. The pictures I was sent from the event confirm that a “good time was had by all.”

Guests brought canned food items for The Cabbage Patch Settlement House in Louisville, Ky. The nonprofit Christian organization helps at-risk children, youth and their families become self-sufficient by maximizing their potential.

Brooks’ friend, Matt Nentwick, told me he hosted this year’s event on March 5. While planning the bash, Nentwick contacted Totally Promotional about ordering customized 16-oz. stadium cups to give guests as a keepsake. What a neat idea!

Nentwick chose red cups and a design to commemorate the occasion and charity. Our marketing team loved the charitable giving idea and were happy to give Nentwick a discount on his order.  He was very pleased with the cups.

charity birthday party guests
Guests at a recent birthday/charity party enjoy each other’s company and their customized stadium cups from Totally Promotional. Second from left is Scott Brooks, who turned his birthday parties into charitable events.

Charitable events are worth sharing

Brooks said he borrowed the idea of replacing a special celebration with a charitable activity.

“A good friend of mine hosted a New Year’s Eve party years ago called Muffs and Mittens. He suggested that every attendee bring a pair of earmuffs or mittens, which he donated … to a homeless shelter,” Brooks said. “That completely inspired me!”

I hope the idea inspires others to do the same. Hosting a charity birthday party is an awesome way to pay it forward!

Brooks’ charity bashes have benefited many people through the years. Previous party donations were:

  • Teddy bears to Kosair Charities, which protects the health and well-being of children in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
  • Towels for The Center for Women and Families. The private nonprofit organization serves families in Indiana and Kentucky who are survivors of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence.
  • Backpacks for Blessings in a Backpack of Louisville, Ky., which provides food on weekends for elementary school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.
  • Girls’ shoes for the Home of the Innocence, also of Louisville, which serves children in crisis.
  • Baby diapers for the Family Scholar House, also of Louisville, which supports education as a means to end the cycle of poverty.

Kudos to Brooks and his friends for their generosity!

— Shelley Grieshop

This blog was updated Jan. 9, 2023.

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