Every year for my kid’s birthdays, we ask our friends not to bring gifts, but donate to a charity instead. Or even to bring a gently used book they no longer need that we can collect and donate to other children. My kids are very lucky to have a decent life, and I want them to be aware of the fact that not all children have things like clothes, food, and a place to live. We started talking to Ruby about helping others in need when she was two years old and have her help bring toys and clothes to a local charity every year for the holidays.
This year, I hosted a FEED Supper as part of a wonderful initiative that FEED Projects organizes every fall to help provide meals for children in need. Rather than limiting the dinner to just my friends for a fancy adult dinner party, I wanted to include our children in the supper and create a couple hours that would be enjoyable for both parents and kids, but also to expose the kids to the idea that they can help other children, too. And, we all had a great night in the process. Here are some details of the supper if you'd like to see…
We held the event in a small restaurant-like space called The Salon at Heirloom LA that our friends at Heirloom use for food tastings and small events which worked perfectly for our small dinner and ravioli-making demonstration for the kids. I love the casual non-fussy nature of floor seating, so we used a single long coffee table as a table for the kids to sit right on the floor for dinner. It was like a fancy picnic!
Moon Canyon helped bring autumn to our dinner with florals. We kept any larger florals higher up where the kids couldn't reach and made sure anything within their reach weren't too fussy and could withstand being man handled by kids. I especially loves the leaves, apples, and persimmon on the tables that brought warmth without being too precious.
Ruby loves helping to bake and cook and help make things whenever she can. When kids can see the result of something they have made, it gives them pride and makes them even more excited to make it. So I worked with Matt and Tara of Heirloom LA to come up with something the kids could enjoy for this FEED Supper. Matt (the chef) came up with the idea to make their own ravioli and then they’d boil them in the kitchen, add sauce, and let them enjoy the fruits of their labor for dinner!
You would think it might be hard to get 8 kids (from ages 2-11 to stay still and make ravioli, but they loved getting to be a part of the process. It was interactive, fun for both the kids and adults, and a really fun way for all of us to spend a couple hours together to raise awareness for a great cause. If making ravioli seems to complicated for your own supper, think of other types of foods kids can easily make or customize themselves (pizza, tacos, pancakes, etc.) I mean, LOOK at this pasta the kids made!
Young children don’t usually understand the words “charity” or “giving back”, so when talking to kids about helping and giving back, it helps to give them examples that they can understand. For example: How would you feel if you didn’t have shoes to wear to school? Or what if you didn’t have a warm, cozy bed? By having them imagine what that would be like, they are more likely to understand and empathize for the children you are hoping to help. By telling them the number of kids we were able to help feed, it helped them to understand the impact we were making together.
So far over 1 million meals have been provided by the FEED Supper held just in the last couple weeks. It's crazy to think that you can give 10 meals with just $1.10. I encourage you to host your own FEED Supper and collect donations however you see fit. Or, if you're not able to host one yourself and would like to donate, you can visit my page right here.
Thanks so much to all the families who joined us!
Creative direction: Joy Cho
Production and set-up: Ariel Fulmer and Casey Brodley
Catering and venue: Heirloom LA
Furniture and pillows: Circa Rentals
Florals: Moon Canyon
Photos: Casey Brodley for Oh Joy