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Treating Others on Halloween

What does Halloween mean in your family? Obviously, children love the costumes, the parties, and the thrill of coming home with bags of colorful, candy loot. For many, it also means little orange boxes rattling with coins that provide precious help to children all over the world.

The tradition began in Philadelphia in 1950 when a youth group collected $17 in decorated milk cartons on Halloween to help children overseas. Since then, American trick-or-treaters have collected more than $110 million. Today, UNICEF works in more than 160 countries and territories, providing children with lifesaving medicine, proper nutrition, clean water, education, and emergency relief.

Although children will be hitting the streets in anticipation of what they will get, they are also naturally empathetic and eager to give. When kids have concrete examples of how their donations will be used, they're even more excited to help.

According to the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF website:

  • 30¢ provides lifesaving antibiotics for a child suffering from pneumonia.
  • $1 immunizes a child against the deadly disease measles.
  • $2.50 buys basic school supplies for one child.
  • $10 provides enough high-protein biscuits to feed three hungry children for one month.
  • $150 pays for a small well to provide clean water for an entire village.
  • .

The site also has fun Halloween ideas for parents and children. Your kids can even download a volunteer badge and their own official UNICEF box to fold and glue!

Helping others is an important subject all year, but, when mixed with the fun and camaraderie of Halloween, it can create quite an impact on children. So, while you're sharing ideas for the best costume ever and telling scary tales of ghosts and goblins, use this time to remind kids that, while getting is awesome, giving is even better!

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