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Giving my birthday

A January tradition continues, with “Specialty Shout-Out” option

birthday giving
giving my birthday

by Melanie Jongsma, Managing Editor

LANSING, Ill. (January 1, 2021) – A couple years ago, when social media giant Facebook rolled out its “birthday fundraising tool,” I tried “giving my birthday” to raise money for The Lansing Journal. It wasn’t an ideal fit—the Facebook tool makes more sense for nonprofits—but it was a fun way to personally engage our community. The basic idea is:

  • You “donate” your birthday to a cause you believe in;
  • Facebook helps you promote the fundraiser and facilitate payments.

In other words, you give your birthday, and your Facebook friends give money to your cause in honor of your birthday.

giving my birthday
Now Facebook reminds me each year to use their Birthday Fundraiser tool.

Previous birthday gifts

When I donated my birthday in January 2019, friends donated enough money to The Lansing Journal to help cover the cost of an additional print issue. We published a special edition in mid-April to summarize Lansing’s election results—that would not have been possible without those birthday gifts.

When I donated by birthday in January 2020, 54 new people signed up as supporters of The Lansing Journal, and 35 of those were monthly givers. Those gifts helped fill the gap during months when advertising was lean, and monthly gifts help us budget wisely.

A gift for you, too

So it’s 2021, and I’m giving my birthday again this year. This year I’m adding a bonus gift: When you give in January, The Lansing Journal will give you a one-week free personal ad that you can use to recognize an upcoming occasion in 2021. We’re calling it a “Specialty Shout-Out” ad.

For example, you could use your free ad to:

  • Send birthday greetings for a milestone birthday in 2021
  • Post a milestone anniversary announcement
  • Announce a quinceanera
  • Honor your mom or dad this Mothers Day or Fathers Day
  • Recognize a personal hero or a forgotten historic figure
  • Share a cute photo of your pet
  • Congratulate a graduate
  • Congratulate a cancer survivor
  • Give your family a shout-out for surviving 2020 with style
  • Thank a military hero or first responder

Giving and receiving

The Lansing Journal is a cause I believe in, and many of you have told me how important it is to you. This community newspaper gives news and information every day at no charge, but it costs money to produce. Giving my birthday is a way to ensure that the Journal can keep giving news.

In honor of Melanie’s birthday, will you give a monthly gift to The Lansing Journal?

Can’t give monthly? We still need your support. Consider a one-time gift in honor of Melanie’s birthday:

Or mail a check to The Lansing Journal, PO Box 742, Lansing IL 60438

To claim your free Specialty Shout-Out ad, email Melanie the details and photos:

Birthday wishes

Thank you for helping me celebrate my birthday by sustaining The Lansing Journal. I appreciate knowing that you value this local, reliable, independent news source that reports daily on our community schools, parks, government, businesses, churches, people, and events.

This is important work, and I want to see it thrive and grow—for this birthday and many more!

ABOUT THE LANSING JOURNAL: The Lansing Journal is a free newspaper, online and in print. But that’s possible only because of local organizations who choose to advertise with us, and local readers who understand how much it costs to publish a “free” newspaper. Thanks to those business investments and personal contributions, we are able to deliver quality community content to readers every single day.

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Happy birthday Melanie! Here’s hoping that 2021 will be a better New Year for us all in many ways! 😃🥳🎂🎁🎈🎊🎉 I don’t use Facebook, but I love getting TLJ in my email inbox each morning and am happy to be a subscriber and daily reader since 2018! To you and all the staff, continue keeping up the great work – it’s wonderful to know what’s going on in our little town year after year! 👏🏼

    • Ashley, how nice to hear from you! I hope you are staying busy and finding new ways to use your skills and your heart. Thank you for the birthday wishes, and thank you for your kind comments about The Lansing Journal—I’m glad to know you’re one of our daily readers!

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