Halloween’s not just a time for children to replenish their candy stash. It can also be a child's first philanthropic experience. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, or National UNICEF Day as the date is called in Canada, asks children to mark Halloween by fundraising for kids around the globe.
Since 1950, the United Nations’ organization for children has been encouraging children to go door-to-door with UNICEF donation boxes. They have raised more than $175 million for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF over the past 65 years, according to a promotional website for the event. The funds reportedly go toward providing food, clean water and medical support for children throughout the world. UNICEF Canada, citing safety and other concerns, no longer encourages children to go door-to-door with donation boxes but asks that they find other ways to raise money during the holiday.
— United Nations (@UN) October 29, 2015
— Mitch Pascal (@TuckPrinc) October 29, 2015
UNICEF, based in New York City, focuses on providing humanitarian assistance to children in developing countries, and advocates on their behalf in the international community. The Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF day was founded by Pennsylvania minister Clyde Allison and his wife, a schoolteacher, Mary Emma. A dime at the time was enough to buy 50 glasses of milk for needy children in Europe. "The idea—Halloween could be about more than just collecting candy,” their website says.
— UNICEF USA (@unicefusa) October 28, 2015
— GlobalMoms Challenge (@GlobalMomsChall) October 29, 2015
The organization includes resources and documents with information to get involved with the event. “Thanks to a little orange box, kids truly believe they can make the world a better place,” the site says.
Canada's UNICEF offers a few additional Halloween suggestions: Dare others, or personally take the dare, to dress silly to class to reach fundraising goals, throw a Halloween party or host a pumpkin decorating contest. Millions of children around the world, including in Ireland, Mexico and China, participate in Halloween fundraising activities.