Most of us have happy Halloween and trick-or-treat memories: cool costumes, candy, parties. My favorite part of trick-or-treat was getting to carry a little orange box to collect pennies for UNICEF. Do you remember ‘trick-or-treat for UNICEF? You can still do it….
What is Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF? Each year, schools would give children little orange cardboard boxes with pictures of children dressed in Halloween costumes. When a child went trick-or-treating, he could show the box to the person at the door. In addition to his trick-or-treat candy, he might also get a donation for UNICEF, or the United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund. It was a great honor to be allowed to help children around the world in need by collecting those coins for UNICEF. I remember watching the pennies, nickels and dimes add up. Some generous souls even gave a quarter or whole dollar now and then. I would proudly bring my little orange UNICEF box to school on the day after trick-or-treat.
I did some research about UNICEF trick-or-treat boxes and discovered that UNICEF program was started in 1946 to help children in post-WWII war torn countries. The Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program began in 1950. When I collected for UNICEF in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the money was being used primarily to help impoverished children in Asia and Africa, but all over the globe. Children suffering from conflicts in Vietnam received help from our UNICEF pennies too.
UNICEF has had to adapt to the times. Since those early days, there have been some Halloween and trick-or-treat scares: Tylenol laced candy, poisoned candy, razor blades in apples. Sad, scary stuff. But not enough to stop children from trick-or-treating and not enough to stop UNICEF from helping children. To participate in UNICEF now, please visit these links here. There are online Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF opportunities.