A Birthday Wish for Education


Every year we wait impatiently to celebrate the one day that is all about usbirthday-balloons – our birthday. Most birthdays revolve around cake, a song, maybe an embarrassing hat or two, and most importantly, presents. But some generous BTers are using their birthdays to bring attention to the need for primary education in Africa. Through I am Building Tomorrow and online apps such as Causes, Global Giving and through our new partnership with One Days Wages, it only takes a few clicks for individuals to share their birthday wishes and create opportunities that will help to end poverty.

What exactly does it mean to ‘Donate your Birthday’? When you donate your birthday, you ask your family and friends to give a donation to Building Tomorrow in your name, rather than purchase a traditional gift. Their donations will fund the construction of primary academies for children with the desire to learn, but no place to do so. For your birthday, rather than receiving regular gifts, you can truly make a difference by helping to make a young Ugandan child’s dream come true.

Who else is doing this? Donating your birthday is so simple that BTers of all ages are signing up. One of our favorite examples is seven-year-old Beck Garnett, who donated his birthday to help kids his age go to school in Uganda. Through Global Giving, he created a registry that listed Building Tomorrow as one of a select group of non-profits chosen by the Birthday Boy, to benefit from the goodwill of gift-givers. One of our interns also donated her birthday this summer, using the Causes application on Facebook, which notified her friends and family of her birthday wish. This was particularly convenient for her college friends, who lived all across the country, to give to Building Tomorrow online instead of sending a gift in the mail. It was a great way to show their love for her by supporting the organization that she is passionate about. Her wish raised over $200 – which could buy any combination of things, like a chalkboard and desks for 3 students!

Donating your birthday has proven to be a popular, easy, and successful way making a difference on your special day. One birthday request can get a lot of people working to provide primary education to all children around the world. And the giving doesn’t stop with birthdays – BTers have donated holidays, special events, and even their entire weddings to the cause of universal primary education. One person can make a huge impact in the life of another, something which we hope you will remember as your own special day approaches.

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