Halloween doesn’t have to be all about the tricks. Instead, consider what a treat it will be when you also give back to your community. Just because trick or treating may not happen the way it normally does this year due to the global pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t still participate and give back at the same time. Use these suggestions to turn what was once a holiday centered around getting and turn it into a holiday of giving back.
1. Buy Your Costume from a Nonprofit
Consider bypassing the big box stores in favor of supporting a local organization. Search for your costume at a nonprofit thrift store such as CAPTAIN's Treasures. That way, you’ll get a costume that is new to you, but also helps support your community. Plus, you never know what treasures you’ll find. Your costume could end up being better than you ever imagined.
2. Trick or Treat (Virtually!) for a Cause
Just because trick or treating may not be happening door to door doesn’t mean it’s not happening at all. For example, UNICEF has hosted a “trick or treat” event since 1950 and has raised more than $119 million. This year, they’re going entirely virtual with opportunities to participate by fundraising online and playing online games to collect coins that add to their fundraising total. In the words of UNICEF, “Halloween is not cancelled. It’s just going to look a little different this year.”
3. Donate Old Costumes
Even if trick or treating isn’t happening, kids and adults alike will still be dressing up. Donate your old costumes to an organization or person in need. You know you’re never going to truly need the costume again, as much as you convince yourself you might. We’re speaking from experience here.
4. Donate Food
Sure, candy is the traditional “food” of Halloween, but this is a nice twist on the holiday. Instead of indulging in sugary goodness, donate money or nonperishable food items to your local food bank. Okay, okay… you can still indulge in the candy and donate! Remember, if you want to spread the cheer by donating candy, you can still do so to Cheryl's Lodge or our Street Outreach program for homeless youth.
5. Carve Pumpkins to Spread Cheer
While some people are able to continue grocery shopping or running essential errands, there is a large amount of the population that is considered “high risk” for exposure to the virus and thus have chosen to remain quarantined. Spread some cheer by carving pumpkins and delivering them to a local nursing home or a high-risk family that may need a pick-me-up. Of course, keep your distance when making the delivery and follow all protocol to ensure a safe dropoff. Remember that even the smallest act of kindness can go a long way.
On this holiday that usually centers around the scary, consider using it as a force for good. You can still indulge in your favorite candy, but consider making the holiday more meaningful. Start a tradition of giving back on Halloween each year and consider involving your family and friends to maximize your efforts.