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07 Dec, Wednesday
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Montreal Families

UNICEF Halloween boxes are back, in digital format

Growing up in the 1980s, there were always two requirements for my Halloween costume: it needed to be warm, and it had to be able to accommodate the bright orange UNICEF donation box around my neck. Visiting each house, my brother and I would get a handful of candy and, very often, a few pennies or nickels dropped through the box’s slot.

For decades, Halloween was many Canadian kids’ first introduction to charitable giving — through what was first known as Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and later, National UNICEF Day. The organization provides protection, healthcare, education, sanitation and nutrition to children worldwide.

The iconic orange cardboard boxes were first created in 1955 and appeared each October for more than 50 years before the program was halted in 2006. It was determined that the loose change collection was too labour intensive (rolling the coins) and ultimately not worth the money that was amassed.

In 2019, UNICEF Canada made the decision to bring back the boxes — though in an updated and modern digital format.

The Halloween Walk-a-thon campaign invites children and families to become Halloween Heroes by fundraising during the days leading up to and including October 31. Donations can be made through a personal donation website. Kids also receive a personalized “digital orange box” they can print out and wear while they are trick-or-treating. The QR code on their Halloween Hero Card links to their donation page. Those who reach their fundraising goal are inducted into the Hall of Heroes and receive a printable crest.

Money collected will support UNICEF’s work to ensure every child has the essentials they need to grow up healthy and safe: nutritious food, clean water, education and health care.

Life-saving funds
  • $57 can provide 96 packets of lifesaving, peanut-based food supplements to 32 children who suffer from malnutrition.
  • $22 can help protect 91 children by providing safe water with water purification tablets and bars of soap.
  • $120 can educate three girls and help them grow up to become leaders in their community.
  • $100 can provide 24 children with school supplies including backpacks filled with the classroom essentials a child needs to learn, thrive and reach their full potential.

Halloween Hero Card. (CNW Group/Canadian Unicef Committee)

To donate or learn how to get involved, visit fundraise.unicef.ca/halloween-heroes-2022. Families who sign up by October 16, 2022 will receive a fun-filled walk-a-thon welcome package in the mail, including their very own Halloween Hero Cards.

Once registered, families can visit their Fundraising Dashboard to personalize their page, keep track of progress, send thank-you messages to supporters, and download their printable Halloween Lanyard Card and a Child Rights activity booklet. Schools can also get involved by becoming Halloween Hero schools.

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