Giving Back on Halloween

Most people associate Christmas and Thanksgiving with times of giving, but there are also plenty of ways to give back during the Halloween season. Here are just a few ways you can help a greater cause this Halloween.

Donate Your Candy

Kool Smiles, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, are hosting Operation Troop Treats this Halloween. Operation Troop Treats is a candy donation drive to benefit troops overseas.

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To donate, bring your extra Halloween candy to any Kool Smiles dental office beginning October 28 through November 4. You can find a list of participating Kool Smiles dental offices on their website.

As an incentive, Kool Smiles is offering a toy for every 25 pieces of candy you donate.

They are also looking to collect toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste to include in the care packages. All candy is accepted, except for Pixy Sticks.

Think Before You Dress Up

Halloween has often been labeled as a holiday popular for cultural appropriation. Think about your costume choice and make sure that it isn't offense to certain groups of people.

Bustle suggest a few costumes to stay away from:

  1. Native American
  2. Gypsy
  3. Egyptian Goddess

Trick-or-Treat for a Good Cause

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a campaign promoted by the organization to encourage children to trick-or-treat for donations rather than candy. The goal of the campaign is to help children worldwide that are in need of medicine, nutrition, clean water, emergency relief, and education. It also is a great way to teach children the importance of global citizenship and the value of helping others.

UNICEF provides collection boxes and other materials to take door-to-door with you when collecting donations. Click here for more information.

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Spirit of Children

The Spirit Halloween costume store runs a program called Spirit of Children. At the end of each season, 100% of the money collected in their stores, and donated by customers and vendors is given to Child Life Departments within children's hospitals.

The Spirit of Children program helps to make the hospital a less scary experience for children. Throughout the year, Spirit field teams bring parties to children's hospitals, providing everything from food to costumes and goodie bags.

These events bring smiles and laughter to pediatric patients who may otherwise miss out on Halloween fun. Since it's start in 2007, the program has raised $37 million to provide funding for art and music programs, educational items, toys, and more for its 140 partner hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.

Donate Last Year's Costumes

Charities such as Ween Dream collect old costumes and distribute them to children of families in need that otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them.

Costumes must be new or gently used and laundered. Visit their website to see a list of pick-up sites or learn how to ship your costumes.

If you have costumes that are more than gently used and don't have use for them, donate them to Planet Aid. We accept textiles in all conditions, as long as they are clean and dry. To find a bin near you, click here.

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Planet Aid whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. Click the image above to learn more and start shopping!