Want to have your cake and share it too? Check out an online initiative that encourages kids to share, writes Nithya Sivashankar
Year after year there would be piles of unopened/unused presents lying around the house after their children's birthday parties. Most of these toys and books remained virtually untouched because some of them were in duplicates. That was when parents Lakyntina Lyngdoh Lakshmanan and her husband Lakshmanan Narayan decided to do something about it.
“The gifts kept the boys hooked only for a day or two, or sometimes only till the gifts were unwrapped,” says Lakyntina. “It hurt to see so much wastage. We tried to dispose the unused toys and books in the most optimal manner. We donated toys in working condition to various charities, the rest were thrown away.”
In 2009, after winding up their spring cleaning session, Lakyntina and her husband once again visited an orphanage in Chennai to donate used and new toys. “The lady at the orphanage, who usually accepted our donations readily, requested us to take back our toys. She said it wouldn't be enough for the 80-odd kids at the orphanage. She preferred cash as it would be helpful to educate or feed a child.” The whole ritual of birthday gifts and return gifts was so wasteful, they realised.
And so was born www.sharemycake.org, an initiative to sensitise children to social realities around them.
Celebrating a birthday the Share My Cake way is easy. Visit the website with your child, sign him up and set up a birthday event page. Create birthday invitations and choose a cause you'd like to support. With a click of a button, send out the invitations to your friends and family. The invitations will also contain details about the cause and how the invitee can support it by gifting cash to the child on his birthday, online. Choose the amount of the total gift contribution that you'd like to keep aside for the chosen charity and keep some for your child's birthday gift.
Recently the Share My Cake team organised two birthday parties — one in Bangalore where a nine year old gave 90 per cent of whatever he received to facilitate children-centric community development. The other was for a child in Indonesia, who gave 100 per cent of what he received to support a cause.
Here's what some children say about Share My Cake
I want other children to be lucky like I have been
It's sad that a child is not able to study like us
A village must have clean water to drink
Animals too have rights and we must help them
People must have food
I love wild animals
“I want to protect a forest”