It all started because our small, everyday actions of kindness can make the biggest impact on another human being without even knowing it. Melissa Smith, co-founder of Party In-Kindness (PIK), experienced this firsthand when her daughter was undergoing surgery at only six days old. A stranger knit a beautiful lavender hat for her daughter and she wore that little hat throughout her recovery. The warmth of knowing a person could have that kind of selfless generosity touched Melissa’s heart forever and she knew one day she would pay it forward somehow.
That day came when two friends unsuspectingly got together for a play date; and while their children played, a seed was planted. Shani Hall, co-founder of Party In-Kindness, was inspired by Melissa’s passion for charity. She always knew that she wanted to be a part of something that could not only have a large impact on her and her children’s life, but the lives of many in need. Thus began their partnership, and as their ideas blossomed, Party In-Kindness was created in 2014.
Party In-Kindness helps people turn any occasion into a reason to give, making even the smallest act of kindness impactful. They encourage the host to include giving to their party or gathering by asking guests to bring in-kind and/or monetary donations to support local charities in the East Bay area. PIK organizes and facilitates that giving component, as well as picks up and drops off the donations. Thus helping bring the individual, their private gathering and a charitable purpose together.
In addition, Party In-Kindness hosts Family Volunteer Events throughout the year bringing families together of all ages to pack backpacks, put together food baskets and gift bags. Additionally, their Annual Power of Kindness event brings supporters together to fundraise for Party In-Kindness, as well as for a charity that supports children in need, since PIK started with the kindness that was shown towards Melissa’s child.
Recently, PIK is providing opportunities for High School Students to make an impact. The Youth Volunteer Board was introduced in 2021 to empower youth to create and execute giving projects, from start to finish, that will serve their community. Melissa and Shani are especially excited to support them in their efforts to become life long givers.
Over the past six years, Party In-Kindness has had the honor of working with various charities in the Bay Area that have served so many. PIK has distributed over 27,000 new items and donated over $130,000 to local nonprofits. Melissa and Shani look forward to continuing their work and message of giving back and spreading kindness in their community.
For more information on Party In-Kindness you can visit their website at www.partyin-kindness.org.
By Shani Hall, Resident since 2020 // Photo by Kate Marie Gardner of Blush House Photography