Holidays generally put people in a charitable mood. If you walk around any Long Island space between Thanksgiving and New Years, you’ll see volunteers collecting food, organizing events and collecting money to help those who are less fortunate get through the holiday season.
With respect to charitable giving, Halloween is an odd time. If you ask any child under the age of 12, they will say that Halloween is absolutely a holiday. Teens and tweens enjoy it too, but you’ll see more of them playing around and hanging out at night than dressing up and trick or treating. College aged people and young adults go back to their younger days and start enjoying dressing up again, many attending or hosting holiday parties. Parents will dress their babies up in funny outfits and take them around their neighborhoods, often while the baby is sleeping and/or too young to eat any of the candy that they collect. As kids get older, parents are merely a tag-along component of the trick or treating, and the kids want to go to as many houses as they can in their given trick or treat period.
So, how can you be charitable during Halloween?
- Donate your kids outgrown Halloween costumes to a local charity or nursery school. For many families, budgets are extremely tight and new Halloween costumes aren’t an option right now. Donating costumes that your children have grown out of will give another child a costume to wear this year.
- Organize a Halloween candy drive. Even some local kids don’t get to celebrate Halloween. Contact Island Harvest or a local food bank and ask if they will be collecting candy this year. You can even organize a Halloween Candy Drive at your school or other community group!
- Participate in Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF, a program where kids have been making a difference in the lives of kids all over the world for 60 years. Contact UNICEF to order a trick-or-treat box, and while your kids are making their rounds on Halloween, they can collect change to help raise money to help other kids.
Have other ideas? Post them below!