Baby Shower Idea

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Baby Shower Idea
7
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 9:58am

Hi all - I came up with a baby shower idea on my way to work and was hoping to run it by a few folks before suggesting it to my mom and sister-in-law.  They both plan to throw me showers, my SIL lives 8 hours away in NY with the rest of my hubby's fam so they always like to do something out there for us as well.  The truth is though, that my husband and I are financially comfortable, and we really don't need our friends and family to contribute for financial reasons.  That said, I know that our friends and family WANT to contribute something and also want to have a good time at a party, so I was wondering about adding a fundraising/donation componant to the shower.  For example, I'll put together a registry with a few things, but strongly encourage everyone to donate to a local organization that supports families in need with new babies (or something like that, I'm going to ask my doctor if she has any suggestions).  I'll be specific with the organization, and at the shower guests can put money or checks in a card or something, and I can add them to a "fundraising basket" as I open them.  Have any of you seen anything like this done before?  What are the pitfall's I'm not anticipating?  Any suggestions and recomendations are welcome!  Thanks!!!

Avatar for duchessdina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 10:52am
I think that's a great idea but I know that most guests are going to want to buy something for the baby as well. Even if you say you don't need much I think people want to help. I think it's a great idea, there are always organizations in need of support.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-21-2005
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 11:40am

I'm from the south, so I can be kind of weird on these things but in general, I think any suggestion on what type of gift to bring is kind of rude.  And you can run into issues with someone not agreeing with an organization, or having read something in the paper 5 years ago that was negative for that organization.  What about doing a normal shower, and then just donating whatever excess items you don't want/need to one of those organizations?  All that said, if I received an invite like this I would still happily go, but you did ask for recommendations/suggestions... but I have gotten in trouble before when someone said "Give me your honest opinion!"  ha ha

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2010
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 1:41pm

In theory it's a great idea ... you'd be helping out those less fortunate & having a fun party with friends & family.  BUT it may not work out as beautifully as you have envisioned.  For instance, most people love baby showers because they enjoy buying things for the new baby & the parents to be -- baby stuff is just fun to buy - they don't see it as throwing their money away simply because you could afford to buy those things on your own!  And if you ask them to not do this but instead contribute to an organization of your chosing, they may just opt to either ignore your request & buy you something anyway (and not donate) or just forego everything, no gift, no donation.  Then you run the risk that not everyone will be supportive of your charity of choice - stuff like this can offend people for reasons & ways you couldn't possibly even dream up.  But the thing is, this is your family & you know them & know what kind of people they are so you're the best one to judge if this is a good idea or not.

What I did when my bff wanted to throw me a shower for my son (similar circumstance - financially we didn't need it),  I had her make it a non-traditional affair & not even bill it as a baby shower - just a party & and excuse to see me (I had moved 6 hours away from them so all I really wanted was to spend time with my friends anyway).  She let e/o know that this wasn't a gift giving event (although a lot did bring gifts), and we had a big ol' southern BBQ party (maybe the only baby shower that I've ever been to with coolers full of beer & a margarita maker running at full speed till way after dark) and it was fabulous!  The point is, you do what works best for your circle of friends & family.  Mine, they like to eat & enjoy a few adult beverages.  :smileyhappy:

Lilypie Maternity tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2005
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 5:16pm
I would agree with the PP. I think most people would bring a gift anyway even if the charity option was available. I'm not sure what they have in your area but around here we have different organizations that accept gift donations, such as Toys for Tots. If you get something you know you dont want or get 2 of something maybe you could donate it to an organization like that since it would still benefit children. Or you could donate the gift cards you get to a local children's hospital or another place that houses or cares for kids. I think donation would be a great idea whatever way you decide to do it!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2004
Fri, 10-05-2012 - 5:18pm

No offense taken and I appreciate the candid responses.  Of course, if I did something like this I would do everything imaginable to let guests know that they are under no obligation to donate etc. etc. but I DO see now that even with every caveat and sincere intention in the world, some people will just not get it and might be offended.  I do sort of liken this to when couples get married and ask for donations to xxxxx in lieu of wedding gifts, which I've seen a bunch of times, and people just donate because they know it's important to the couple and is what the couple wants, and if they don't agree they just give money or a present.  So, I'm still kind of torn about the idea because I know it's not completely off-base.  But, it may just be off-base and unique enough to not be worth it - which is the way I'm leaning now.  I do like the idea of donating gift cards, but something about that seems disingenuous to me - like re-gifting, even though I know it doesn't really matter.  Man, what an ethical dilemma I'm making of this - haha!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-21-2005
Fri, 10-05-2012 - 9:42pm

Another option would be to calculate how much you are saving through the gifts you receive and then just write a check for that amount to a charity of your choice...  Good luck!  These things are always tricky.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2003
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 2:49pm

On my DS's boards we've talked a lot about something similar to this for kid's birthday parties. It's pretty popular right now for older kids to have bday parties and instead of getting a present for themselves their guests bring a book or something to donate to the less fortunate. I know one mama has a daughter who is obsessed with animals so all her guests brought blankets or chew toys to donate to the local animal shelter. I haven't seen it for a baby shower before but I think it could definitely be doable. You should google it and see if there's ideas posted about it that have worked for other people. I think one thing might be to have people bring baby blankets or clothes or diapers for a local shelter or DV place. That way they still get to shop for the baby things.

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