Whenever I have a party, my guests always ask what they can bring. I usually tell them nothing, and they usually bring some nice, but unnecessary 'hostess gift.' I have enough candles and bottles of wine. So, I have hit upon the perfect solution to the question: "What can I bring?" It is especially helpful in this shaky economy, too! Read on for something my guests at my last party really liked.

Things You Will Need

A Party


A Large Box to decorate

Step 1

Prepare your invitations for your next soiree - I like to use EVITE, it is a free online invitation site that tracks your guests and lets your guests keep an idea on who is coming or not. There are other sites that offer free party invitation services as well. Use a search engine to find them with keywords like "party" "invitation" and "free."

Step 2

On the invitation, whether electronic or hard copy or word of mouth, be sure to specify that everyone should bring a box or can of nonperishable food for the local food bank. Tell them you will be making a donation on the Monday following the party.

Step 3

Find a large, empty box and decorate it in the theme of the party - wrap it like a present (with an open top) for Christmas, cover it in red, white, and blue for 4th of July, etc. Place it somewhere it can be easily accessed during the party.

Step 4

As your guests arrive, ask them to place their donations in the box. Most of my guests brought more than one item (many brought a bag full) so the box filled up quickly.

Step 5

Enjoy the party! No worries about what to do with those nice, but really useless hostess gifts anymore! After the party, take the donation box(es) to the food bank. You will feel real good about helping those less fortunate than you while you and your friends are having a good time.

After the party, gather up the box and all the donations and take it to your local food bank. They will appreciate the donations and you and your friends will feel good knowing you have done this. Finally, send a note to all who attended, thanking them for their generous gifts to the food bank, and let them know you have delivered the donation box.

Tips & Warnings

This works any time of the year, not just during the holidays.

Make sure your box is big enough or prepare two of them, as your guests will likely bring more than one item for the donation.