Barack Obama Is Throwing a COVID-Safe 60th Birthday Party, Asking for Charity Donations in Lieu of Gifts

A source tells PEOPLE that Barack Obama will ring in his 60th birthday with family, friends, and former staff during an outdoor party next weekend at their Martha's Vineyard home

Barack Obama Speaks At Georgia Get Out The Vote Rally With Senate Candidates
Barack Obama campaigns in Georgia in November. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty

Barack Obama doesn't want any gifts for his 60th birthday, just a COVID-safe party and donations to the Obama Foundation's philanthropic projects.

"The Obamas are hosting a party to celebrate President Obama's 60th birthday with family, friends, and former staff," a source tells PEOPLE of the outdoor gathering taking place next weekend at the family's Martha's Vineyard estate.

Invitees have been advised that all guests will be required to undergo COVID testing and that the event will be overseen by a medical professional, who will ensure that all CDC, state, and local pandemic protocols are followed — something the Obamas, Michelle Obama in particular, have been strict about.

Barack and Michelle have been strong advocates for vaccinations, getting inoculated alongside other former presidents and first ladies in March. "I encourage everyone to get a vaccine as soon as they have an opportunity," Michelle told PEOPLE at the time.

First Family Easter Portrait
Pete Souza/The White House via Getty. Pete Souza/The White House via Getty

"In lieu of gifts, guests are being asked to consider giving to programs that work to support boys and young men of color and their families here at home in the United States, empower adolescent girls around the world, and equip the next generation of emerging community leaders including the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, the Girls Opportunity Alliance, or the Obama Foundation's Global Leadership programs," the insider says.

The former first family is expected to entertain some A-list guests, as they've done in the past for milestone birthdays. Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Ellen DeGeneres, Sarah Jessica Parker, and John Legend were just few of the big names in attendance at President Obama's 55th birthday bash at the White House in 2016. The Obamas also hosted Hillary Clinton, Michael Jordan, Paul McCartney and Janelle Monáe at the former First Lady's 50th in 2014.

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Michelle previously opened up about her and Barack's retirement plans to PEOPLE in March. "I've been telling my daughters I'm moving toward retirement right now, [selectively] picking projects and chasing summer," she said.

"Barack and I never want to experience winter again," Mrs. Obama added. "We're building the foundation for somebody else to continue the work so we can retire and be with each other — and Barack can golf too much, and I can tease him about golfing too much because he's got nothing else to do."

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