Posted: October 26th, 2011 | Author: Jon Solley |
Halloween for the kids of Barrington, Rhode Island is not only an exciting time of year, but also a guarantee of a significant haul of sweets, gifts, and money. Nowhere is Halloween more celebrated than the United States so it is unsurprising to witness such a level of enthusiasm among the younger generation. However, for the community of Barrington there is an extra level of generosity that emerges at this time of year.
Katrin Braun explains that, ‘Our kids literally had a pile of sweets and goodies that was so tall it dwarfed them! The local community decided that we should donate some of what we collected to troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.’ The impressive amount of treats collected is certainly too big for the needs of this one family and this year they predict they will donate over 75% of their Halloween collection to the troops.
For Katrin’s daughters, it is also a rewarding experience. Luisa excitedly tells us, ‘We had so many sweets, so many! And crisps and toys and dollars. Mommy lets us keep some sweets and we take the rest to the Town Hall for charity.’ These initiatives demonstrate the educational and moral value that can come from Halloween as well as the childhood excitement of ghosts and demons.
This idea is not localised to Barrington though. Many other US towns and cities take part in similar schemes, while there are even global efforts aimed at helping under developed nations. Trick or Treat for Unicef is an idea that initially began in 1950 and works on a similar premise. Halloween goers collect in specially designed boxes that are used to collect everything from sweets to money to aid developing countries in the provision of medical care and safe water. The idea, which has now spread to several countries including China, has raised $160 million to date in the US alone and now boasts high profile partners such as Toys “R” Us, who have set up specific cash donation services for the Halloween period.
At a time when more money than ever is being spent on the Halloween period, the promise of a sizable amount of these funds being directed to charity initiatives is a promising development. Not only does the excitement of Halloween take on a new dimension that is educational as well as fun, but it enables aid to reach areas and individuals who are most in need and gives the Halloween period an extra feel good factor.