SOURCE: ECHOage

February 26, 2008 13:11 ET

ECHOage Empowers Children to Make a Difference, One Birthday at a Time

The First of Its Kind, ECHOage Parties Inspire Children to Celebrate Giving, While Reducing Their Environmental Footprint

TORONTO--(Marketwire - February 26, 2008) - Want to make your child's birthday party more meaningful? Looking to cut back on all the plastic you-know-what in the house? Now -- with a new concept in gift giving for children's birthday parties -- both can be achieved! ECHOage (www.echoage.com) is an innovative online party planning website that provides a unique opportunity for children and parents to support those in need, help protect the environment and inspire others to follow in their footsteps, all while helping parents save precious time and money.

According to ECHOage's co-founder, Alison Smith, "ECHOage is convenience and conscience wrapped up in a big green ribbon!"

Regardless of the party theme, location or size, ECHOage adds a meaningful component of charity giving -- not just receiving -- to traditional birthday celebrations, giving children a practical, hands-on way to make a difference at the time of their birthdays. With 'One Gift, One Cause' as the company's mantra, the site pools gifts of money from guests so that a portion goes towards one special gift for the birthday child, and a portion goes to a single charitable cause of the birthday child's choice -- making it easier than ever for parents and children to give and receive.

How it Works

It's easy to ECHOage any birthday party, no matter where or when it will be held. Parents and children planning a party begin by choosing from a variety of creative and fun online invitations through echoage.com. Next, they sit down with the birthday child to choose from a selection of charitable causes that ECHOage has screened and selected based on a demonstrated track record of hands-on, practical and results-focused work that improves the lives of children and benefits the environment. To date, participating charities include Nourish America, EarthCorps, International Child Art Foundation and Girls Inc, and in Canada, Evergreen, Camp Oochigeas and Second Harvest, with more planned.

Invitations are sent via email and instead of bringing a wrapped gift, guests are asked to make a secure online donation of $10 to $30. After deducting a small administration fee to sustain the cost of the service, ECHOage sends half of the party proceeds to the child's chosen charity, and remits the other half to the party's host towards the purchase one really special and more meaningful gift for the child, from all of his or her party guests. The child receives his or her dream gift while learning valuable lessons about giving and quality versus quantity. The host even receives a tax receipt for the portion donated to charity.

The ECHOage Tracker easily allows party hosts to send invites, track RSVPs, and send thank you notes and reminders. The ECHOage Tracker even gathers important parent contact details and critical allergy information about guests, underscoring the site's commitment to helping children and parents be worry-free at birthday parties.

Key ECHOage Benefits

--  Time saving and convenient -- Easy-to-use website saves time and money
    for hosts and guests. NO MORE SHOPPING, WRAPPING OR RETURNING GIFTS!
--  Cause-Oriented -- With a selection of charities to choose from, the
    birthday child and family together select which one to support -- it's a
    great opportunity to open a dialog with your child about giving.
--  Environmentally sound -- Electronic invitations and thank you notes
    save trees, and guests avoid driving to buy gifts and wrapping paper to
    wrap them -- plus, one meaningful gift instead of many gifts that end up
    unused or re-gifted.
--  Educational -- Using ECHOage together with your child provides a fun
    yet impactful way to teach kids about giving, charity and protecting the
    environment.
    

"Children are full of creative solutions to environmental and social issues and the impact they can make on this world is extraordinary," said Debbie Zinman, co-founder of ECHOage. "Our dream is that ECHOage parties will help members of our youngest generation recognize that they can make meaningful choices that have a positive impact on others."

About ECHOage

ECHOage was founded and created by two mothers -- Alison Smith and Debbie Zinman -- who believe that children can improve the world, one birthday at a time. Based in Toronto, Canada, ECHOage is an innovative online party planning website that provides a unique opportunity for children and parents to support those in need, help protect the environment and inspire others to follow in their footsteps while also helping save precious time and money. For more information about ECHOage, go to www.echoage.com.

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:
    Wendy Simmons
    Vendeloo, Inc.
    Email Contact
    718.522.9873