If you’re still trying to figure out what to do to celebrate this spooky holiday, it might be time to think outside the box. Halloween is generally devoted to parties, merriment and a little overindulgence. But what if we flipped the script on this? How about starting your family’s own traditions this year with what matters most to you? You can think of it as another day of the year to teach children about the many ways to give back. It doesn’t have to be boring or stuffy, either! We have a few creative ideas for volunteering this Halloween.
Nursing Home Trick or Treating
For the elderly, holidays can be a tricky time. Not every nursing home resident will see their family, especially on the less family-focused Halloween. Often, they’ll be left comparing their old celebrations to their current lack of them. Try asking around at your local assisted care facilities to see if they host events just for the elderly. This can be a variety of events, including trick or treating with the kids at the nursing home. If the organization doesn’t have anything planned, you could even make a few suggestions!
Did you know that Trick or Treat for UNICEF is nearly 70 years old? The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund — UNICEF — works to help children around the globe. They work to ensure children have health care, immunizations, proper nutrition, access to safe drinking water and sanitation, education, protection and emergency relief in times of natural disasters and war. They pioneered the idea of “Kids Helping Kids” with their collection boxes at Halloween.
Halloween Food Drive
The focus may be on candy at this time of year, but there are plenty of opportunities to provide good food to those in need. Your local food bank may be in need of some helping hands packaging or sorting donations. Your child’s school might be hosting a collection. If nothing pops up in your community, you can organize an event yourself!
Support the Troops
Holidays can be difficult for active duty military members. Organizations like Operation Shoebox give your child an opportunity to learn about selflessness and sharing. You can gather up their individually wrapped (and heat-resistant) candies to send to people serving abroad. There are plenty of other ways to give something sweet to soldiers, too. A card or letter can help remind them that they’re not forgotten or taken for granted.
Enter a 5k run with family, friends or solo to help a charitable cause! The Halloween Hustle hosts races that benefit a variety of nonprofits and charities. As an added bonus, you’ll likely be doing yourself a favor by choosing a little bit of exercise instead of (or in addition to) that Halloween candy.