Hallowe’en customs

When I was a little kid we carried a UNICEF box with us when we went out to trick or treat. We asked for pennies for UNICEF, which were dropped into our boxes at each one of our stops. Many households were happy to comply. I think it was a wonderful way to make children aware of others who were not so fortunate as we were (and are).

At some point adults questioned the practice. Asking for pennies for the UNICEF box was deemed unsafe or undesirable or some such thing. One of the arguments was that children shouldn’t be used to canvass homes for charitable donations, if memory serves.

As a child I was really pleased to do something for the children I would often see in TV ads by charitable organizations. I felt empowered, like I was making a difference in some small way.

The year we were told that UNICEF boxes would not be part of our Hallowe’en ritual was a sad one for me. What made it harder was that there were no alternatives put in place.

The explanations we were given as children rang hollow to my ears.


4 thoughts on “Hallowed or hollowed?

  1. Beautiful post – I had never heard of this before but it saddens me that they aren’t doing this anymore. It’s important to be grateful for what we have. Hopefully they will put something in its place some day! Maybe you should write them about it?



  2. I believe what happened here was that unifcef was not being completely honest when it came time to distribute the funds that were collected. So much of the money was kept in the organization. When people donated, they expected all of their money to be going to worthy causes, but when the rumor was started that it wasn’t parents thought twice about doing it. That’s what I heard, not completely sure on it, but would love to know for sure.


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