When Suneet and Priya Bhatt’s daughter Anaiya, now almost 5 years old, turned 1, the couple knew they wanted to celebrate her birthday, but not drown in gifts. So they told their guests no presents, unless they wanted to bring school supplies for kids at the charter school where Priya taught.

The party came and the Edison, N.J., family ended up with two carloads full of donations. Their toddler didn’t miss a thing. But what they hoped she would gain from this, and from birthdays to come, would be priceless.

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