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Come In Out of the Cold!

Brrr! In our part of the world, winter chill can be hard on the soul. But, take heart, girlfriends, we can help you beat the winter blues–together!  Our Out of the Cold party plan will help lift your spirits while you bring warmth to someone in need.

You may be wondering, why host a party to benefit a charitable cause? Because, quite simply, doing good makes you feel good. In addition, doing something meaningful at your girlfriend gatherings strengthens your bond by giving you a new topic of conversation, a common purpose and a collective sense of pride. Finally, there are so many people in need. You are fortunate enough to have a gaggle of girlfriends to call your own. It’s time to spread the love.

Before You Begin 

Take a minute to think about what your group of girlfriends can offer those in need. For talented girlfriends, it may be knitting mittens, sewing blankets, making quilts or crocheting hats. For the craft-challenged, it might be something as simple as making sandwiches, tying fleece blankets, assembling care packages, or writing letters. No matter your budget or your abilities, there is something you can do to help someone else.

Then, identify an organization you can help and confirm the kind of help they need and can accept. Use the yellow pages to find local shelters, churches, and hospitals to see if there are ways you can help. Ask friends if they know of any good local organizations. Here are some general suggestions, but please be sure to check with an organization first before having your party.

  • Homeless shelters or family shelters: Usually accept hats, mittens, scarves, sandwiches, blankets, pillows.
  • Soup kitchens: Often accept sandwiches.
  • Neonatal wards at hospitals: Often need blankets and hats for premature infants.
  • College students: Always appreciate care packages of homemade goodies.
  • Armed forces units: Care packages for U.S. soldiers are always needed. Alist of suggested items is here.


With the cold weather upon us, winter-themed invitations (snowflakes, mittens) are easy to find at almost any discount retailer or party-supply store for a reasonable price. Another option would be to purchase wintery stationery and write out the invitation by hand or print it out from your computer. If you prefer to do it online, try VistaPrint, which offers a set of 10 flat invitations (postcard-type) for $7.99. You pick the design template (search on "winter" for lots of great choices) and add your own wording. You might want to try something like this:

Please bring the warmth of your hands

and love in your heart

to help take the chill off a cold winter’s night.

Join me in making (blankets) for (San Mateo Homeless Shelter) on (Friday, February 16, 2007) at (6:00 pm).

Setting and Setup
Once you’ve selected your activity, you can determine your setup. You may need to set up a folding table or two for crafts or assembling care packages, for example. In keeping with our Out of the Cold theme, try to create a cozy atmosphere. A roaring fire in the fireplace would be ideal, but if that’s not possible, light a few candles and play some music that makes you feel warm inside.

With your special project in the works, you’ll want to keep your fingers as mess-free as possible. So, keep food and drink simple and contained. Why not make a pot of your favorite creamy soup and serve it with some steamy french bread? Add your favorite brown ale and voila, the troops are fed. If finger food is all you’re looking for, try warm mozzarella sticks or chicken quesadillas. Don’t forget to add a little chocolate "something"–even something as simple as chocolate squares varying from light to dark–very satisfying! Or, try serving hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, mulled wine or even warm cider to cozy up the offerings.

Additional Activities

If you feel the need for something to do besides your charitable project, this quick and simple activity is sure to get discussion flowing in the right direction.

When each woman arrives, have her write a list of ten things she loves, appreciates, or is grateful for. General answers like "my family" or "my church" are not allowed. The object is to be specific so that people can get to know each other a little better. For example, you can’t list "ice cream" or "chocolate," but you can list "the Ben & Jerry’s Mocha Chocolate Swirl that comforts me after every blind date," or "the Hershey’s semi-sweet morsels out of the bag that keep me company during Desperate Housewives."

Once everyone’s hands are busy working on your project, you can go around the room and have each girlfriend read her list. Beware: This can generate some pretty interesting topics of conversation.

Another approach is to gather the lists, then randomly hand them out. Each person reads the list in hand, and everyone else tries to guess whose list it is. Make it a game: The girlfriend with the most correct guesses wins.

Party Favors

Your girlfriends will feel great just knowing they did something special to help those in need. And, since this party focuses on being grateful for what you have, you don’t really need an additional parting gift. However, if you’d like to show your appreciation to your girlfriends, here are a few suggestions:

  • Heart mini soap on a bed of delicate white paper threads, gift boxed and tied with a sheer organza ribbon. On the attached card, you could write, "Life blessed you with a beautiful heart. Thank you for sharing it!" ($1.53 each/minimum of 12).
  • Mini felt winter mittens that you can fill with wrapped chocolates (Six for $12.00).
  • Chocolate snowflakes, a bit of a splurge, but you get a dozen, sprinkled with pearl dust and nestled in a frosted silver box with glitter fill ($3.50 each). At, this is called the "snowflake favor."

After the party, deliver the goods to the recipient you’ve chosen. Invite a girlfriend or two to accompany you, and be sure to let your guests know how your gifts were received.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for charitable activities girlfriends can do together. Share your experiences with us by using the comment form below. Thanks, and stay warm! 

1 Comment

  1. [...] a look at our Out of the Cold party for ideas on how to plan a fun girls night that is focused on helping [...]

    Pingback by Girlfriends Who Volunteer Together… | Girlfriend Celebrations — November 5, 2008 @ 1:48 am

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