Caring & Scaring
When I was a kid, dressing up for Halloween was a given. My brother and I always had a costume to go trick or treating in with our cousins and friends. Either my parents bought something from the store or my mom would make something for us. Her sewing skills are still on fleek (as the kids would say). So as you might imagine I never thought there were kids who didn’t have a costume to wear to celebrate Halloween.
Fast forward to my mid-20s and I was working as a reporter in West Lafayette, Indiana. There was a group there (and for the life of me I can’t remember the name of it) that collected gently used costumes and redistributed them to children in need. It made sense, we donate toys at Christmas and food around Thanksgiving. Why not help brighten the Halloween season too. It’s a rite of passage for children to get dressed up and get as much candy as humanly possible.
My wife and I would donate our young sons’ costumes to the cause. In most cases, a costume is worn once or twice and goes into a storage bin or the toy box for creative play. A few years ago I talked with several groups in southern Illinois that work with children, but none had any kind of costume recycling program in place. That’s when I decided to start one.
The project is in its third year and already for 2017, I have about a dozen costumes. I know that’s not many and that’s where you can help. If you’re going through your Halloween bins now to decorate and have some costumes you’re not going to use any more, let me know. I’ve had friends from St. Louis ship costumes to me in the past. I will make sure they go to a child in need.
In 2016, the Night’s Shield Children’s Shelter was the recipient of the items collected. The year before, I donated the costumes on hand to Tri C Elementary School and the counselors worked with families in need to make sure their kids had something to wear on Halloween. If you know of a group in southern Illinois that helps kids and would like a donation of Halloween costumes, let me know. And if you have a costume to give, contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and have a Happy Halloween.
I'm a former TV news guy turned marketing manager. I like to blog, podcast and watch pro wrestling.