Oct 21 2009

Graehm Gray-Trick or Treat for UNICEF!

Nerdel - Trick or Treat or UNICEF

As we approach the 2009 Halloween Evening, and start thinking about the massive amounts of sweets our children will be exposed to, it’s important for all of us to remember what happened on that Halloween night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania back in 1950. Five children went door to door with their pastor to collect money for their friends in post World War II Europe.  At each door, they not only opened their bags for candy, but held out empty milk cartons to collect coins for children in need overseas. They collected a total of $17 and donated the entire amount to UNICEF. The ‘Trick or Treat for UNICEF’ program was started by that philanthropic action. In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson declared Halloween, October 31st, to be “UNICEF Day.”

 Since 1950, over $130 million has been raised by the ‘Trick or Treat for UNICEF’ campaign. Children from all over the world participate in the program including Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Hong Kong.  Monies raised go for vaccines, clean water and improved nutrition for less fortunate children.  Movie and TV star Sarah Jessica Parker, herself a trick- or- treater for UNICEF as a child served as the 2006  “Trick or Treat for UNICEF”  spokesperson and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador . “My involvement with ‘Trick or Treat for UNICEF’ is particularly dear to me because I participated as a child,” Ms. Parker said. “Halloween can be very focused on the amassing of bucket-loads of sweets,” she added, “yet ‘Trick or Treat for UNICEF’ demonstrates that kids can do good deeds and still have fun.  A positive first experience with philanthropy can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of giving.”

Here are a few examples of the benefits of raising money for UNICEF:

  1. $1 protects a child from polio for life. Once at epidemic proportions in the United States claiming some 50,000 victims annually in the 1950’s, today polio still strikes children in the sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  2. Additionally, $1 immunizes one child against the deadly disease measles. Measles claims more children’s lives each year than wars, famines, and natural disasters combined.
  3. $2 can provide 66 children with vitamin A capsules for a year. Vitamin A protects children from permanent blindness, helps them grow strong and protects against certain types of infections.
  4. Just $2.46 can buy school supplies, such as pencils, books, chalk, slate board and paper for one child for one year.
  5. Just $9 buys a pack of 200 water purification tablets. Five million Iraqis already lack access to safe water. Drinking unsafe water can lead to diarrheal diseases, which kills 1.5 million children each year.

“One of the greatest benefits of ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ is that it gives American children a wonderful opportunity to learn about the world around them,” said Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “And when American children ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF,’ they are literally helping to save other children’s lives.”

The 53-year tradition of “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” offers children the chance to gain a meaningful experience during Halloween festivities, while still having fun. By carrying the orange UNICEF collection box, children in the United States raise money to help children in need worldwide, and, in the process, learn the important role they can play in helping each other.

For more information on getting involved with UNCEF, go to http://youth.unicefusa.org/trickortreat/


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