It will be Halloween again soon and kids in costumes will go from house to house to ask for candies and other treats. This Halloween, children and their parents can bring happiness to not only the kids who enjoy this yearly ritual but also others everywhere who need help. And that’s by joining “Trick-or-Treat for Unicef.”
Upon joining, the children will be given kits that include two boxes—one for the treats and the other for donations to Unicef. The donations are intended for disadvantaged children who are not able to enjoy their rights, like the right to education, to be healthy, and to be protected. They will be used to provide lifesaving medicines, clean water, nutrition and education to kids in poor and hard-to-reach communities.
“Unicef’s work in the Philippines focuses on children who live in the poorest communities, or in the remotest barangays, or in areas devastated by conflict and climate-change-related calamities,” said Unicef Country Representative Tomoo Hozumi. “‘Trick-or-Treat for Unicef’ allows us to make children’s rights and helping children everyone’s concern, even the children themselves. Through this activity, children not only learn about the bigger world and the situations disadvantaged children face, they can also do something about it.”
The activity is aimed at giving more meaning to the Trick-or-Treat celebration by teaching children that they have the power to do good for other children in need.
Not many know it, but Unicef depends entirely on voluntary donations to fund its work for children in the Philippines and around the world. So every contribution, every little bit, counts.
Here’s how parents can register their children for the activity:
1. Go to the Unicef booths at Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, and The Podium that will be open until Oct. 27 and register. Fill out the forms and register your child and get the free “Trick-or-Treat for Unicef” kit. Only parents and legal guardians may register their children for the free kit. One kit per child only. Schools may also register to participate. To find out how, visit www.unicef.ph or call 758-1000.
2. Unicef staff and children will brief parents and children on how to Trick-or-Treat and how to turn in their donations.
3. Once they have their kits, children may do their trick-or-treating anywhere, anytime they want.
Everyone is encouraged to count their donation and provide the total amount before they turn it in. Bring all the filled-out forms and the actual box during the turnover period. Donations and forms may be turned over to personnel at the Unicef Trick or Treat booths at Mega Atrium and The Podium lobby on Nov. 2-4.
Donations may also be turned over at any SM Bill Payment Counter at SM department stores, through bank deposits at Metrobank Unicef C/A 066-70663129-3, or at any Bayad Center outlet.
Donations may be in cash, check or credit card. If by check, make it payable to Unicef. Amounts of P1,000 or more within Metro Manila are eligible for pickup. Coordinate with Unicef at 758-1000 or 758-1442 to make arrangements.
All children who turn in their donations will receive a certificate of recognition and a special gift from Unicef via postage mail by November.
According to a Unicef handout, the “Trick-or-Treat for Unicef” tradition began in 1950 in the United States, “when Philadelphia schoolchildren first went door to door at Halloween collecting money in decorated milk cartons to help children in need around the world.”
The rest of the story: “The children raised a grand total of $17, kicking off a campaign that has since brought millions of dollars each year to help Unicef help disadvantaged children in more than 150 countries.
“Millions of children now participate in Halloween-related fund-raising campaigns in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong, among other places. In these campaigns, children go beyond trick-or-treating in scary costumes, with the familiar orange collection boxes in hand. Children and young adults take part in various fun and educational events that help them gain a better understanding of child rights and the challenges facing children around the world—including poverty, killer diseases, and armed conflict.
“This global campaign, now in the Philippines, has raised more than $167 million around the world and remains an inspiration to the young and the young at heart to further the cause of children everywhere.”
The same handout adds:
“Unicef works in over 120 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s biggest provider of vaccines for developing countries, Unicef supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation and AIDS.
“In the Philippines for over 30 years, Unicef works through partners to reach disadvantaged children and communities to ensure that children are healthy, educated and protected from harm. Unicef is quick to respond to emergencies to ensure affected communities are reached and provided with services from local governments and other service providers.”