by Gerald Boerner
“It’s good to think of someone other than yourself.”
— Shiela Hartfield, Parent
“And it exposes kids that there’s a need out there. There are people who can’t afford the luxuries in this country.”
— Asima Kachroo, Parent
“Your UNICEF Trick or Treat Day has helped turn a holiday too often marred by youthful vandalism into a program of basic training in world citizenship.”
— Lyndon Johnson, President
“It’s a way for kids to give back. Also it helps them personally to get their confidence going. Once they take care of their candy business, `Do you want to donate some money for the poor?’ It helps them come out of their shells.”
— Asima Kachroo, Parent
“Children have a chance to reach out and assist children throughout the world. They’re told that a small amount of money can provide clean water, a school package for children around the world. Our children learn about that and help a great organization like UNICEF.”
— Amy Leslie, Parent
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a fund-raising program for children sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Started on Halloween 1950 as a local event in Bridesburg, Pennsylvania, United States, the program historically involves the distribution of small orange boxes by schools to trick-or-treaters, in which they can solicit small change donations from the houses they visit. Millions of children in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, and Hong Kong participate in Halloween-related fund-raising events for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, and the program has raised over US$188 million worldwide.
The idea known as Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF came from Mary Emma, the wife of Presbyterian minister Clyde Allison. In 1949, the Allisons were living in Bridesburg, a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Mary wanted children to be taught something more from the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating besides obtaining treats. When she saw a UNICEF booth collecting funds to send powdered milk to undernourished children around the world, Mary thought of getting children to collect donations for UNICEF instead of candy. Rev. Clyde Allison liked the idea and introduced the concept to local Presbyterian churches. On Halloween 1950, the Allisons recruited their own children and their community’s to go door-to-door collecting nickels and dimes in decorated milk cartons to aid children in post-World War II Europe. They collected a total of $17 and donated all of it to UNICEF.
In 1953, the United States Committee for UNICEF started actively promoting the program. By the 1960s, the concept had expanded throughout the United States, with small orange collection boxes distributed to millions of trick-or-treaters. When UNICEF won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson said in his congratulatory letter: "Your UNICEF Trick or Treat Day has helped turn a holiday too often marred by youthful vandalism into a program of basic training in world citizenship." In 1967, Johnson declared Halloween, October 31, to be ‘UNICEF Day’ in the United States; by 1969, 3.5 million American children were trick-or-treating for donations. Children (and adults) in the U.S. have collected over US $144 million for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. In 2008, the U.S. Committee for UNICEF introduced mobile phone text message donations as well as a MySpace and Facebook page.
The program has also expanded outside of the United States. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF in Canada, which started in 1955, has raised more than CAN $96 million. A Canadian proclamation declared October 31 of each year ‘National UNICEF Day’ in 2000. In 2006, UNICEF Canada discontinued the collection box part of their program, citing safety and administrative concerns. However, the program in Canada continues, with the 2008 program featuring events including pumpkin-carving contests, pumpkin art tours, and reading marathons. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF in Hong Kong was launched in 2001, and has raised more than HK $6 million.
How to Do It…
This October, make Halloween count by Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF. Doing so will help us get things like water, education and medicine to the children who need it most. Your efforts will show that you believe ZERO children should be without the basic necessities that we often take for granted.
Getting involved is easy and fun!
First, you’ll need a box. Order boxes online until Friday, October 30th at noon (eastern time), or create your own using this canister wrapper.
Then, while you’re out on Halloween, ask everyone to help you raise money for kids around the world and to join you in believing in ZERO!
Once you’ve collected the money, send it to UNICEF to help save kids lives, and be sure to celebrate your success
Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF that can be found at…