For most kids, trick or treating means dressing up in costumes and going door to door in your neighborhood collecting candy. When I was growing up, most families had two bowls by the front door. One full of candy and one full of coins for UNICEF. UNICEF stands for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. Do you remember doing this as a young trick or treater? Everyone was turned loose – one hand holding a container for candy collecting, and the other was holding an orange carton collecting change for UNICEF.
Although the UNICEF program is in its 75th year, the Trick or Treat concept came to be in 1950. Reverend Clyde Allison, his wife, and their children wanted to see what would happen if they asked local Presbyterian churches to join in. The first year they made an inspirational $17, but at least the idea was born. Canadians joined in and sent Halloween collections to UNICEF in the United States. The organization of UNICEF began to help provide food, clothing and health care to children in Europe after World War II, and now does so much for kids around the world.
Trick or treat for UNICEF and the original Kids Helping Kids campaign has raised more than $167,000 for UNICEF’s lifesaving programs worldwide. Kids did that! Our kids can be a positive part of history.
UNICEF has changed more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Think of the pride you can instill in your children for helping so many less fortunate. Let them know how proud and thoughtful they are to help children around the world. They become a part of helping with health care, clean water, nutrition, emergency relief and more.
The last few years UNICEF has made some major changes to keep up with the world. They realize we must make it okay to talk about mental health. UNICEF works with children who have suffered unthinkable traumas, gender discrimination, chronic illness, and so many other things that can cause them mental distress.
For more information, visit TrickOrTreatForUNICEF.org or call 1-800-FORKIDS.
UNICEF still invites kids to do something awesome for other kids, but they also want to reach Gen-Z and millennials. Kids can carry QR codes on their phones – or their parent’s phones, so participants will be taken directly to the site, the information, and pay with their credit card.
We see the power and heart in our children and what they can do to make a change. UNICEF now makes the entire month dedicated to “Kids Helping Kids.” Unfortunately candy collection remains just one day of the month!