Two mothers who want to change the way kids think about birthday parties.
After the whirlwind of a child's birthday party, many parents find themselves loaded down with wrapping paper, packaging and a pile of gifts that are largely ignored by their kids. DEBBIE ZINMAN and ALISON SMITH were fed up the excess, saw an opportunity to bring new meaning to a birthday celebration and in 2008, they channeled their frustration into the development of ECHOage.com. This innovative website helps parents easily organize environmentally friendly birthday parties and instead of getting many gifts children get one group gift from all their friends and donate money to a charity of their choice. ECHOage has become a movement across North America as children celebrate giving and help charities such as Free the Children, The World Wildlife Fund and SickKids Hospital. ECHOage teaches children about social and environmental issues - and shows them that they have the power to make change happen.