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UNICEF returns to its Halloween roots

Last Updated Oct 18, 2019 at 7:19 am PST

(Courtesy UNICEF)

UNICEF has launched a new Halloween program to raise money for those in need

Kids can raise money for children around the world online and learn more about who they are helping

If they meet meet their fundraising goal, kids are inducted into UNICEF's Halloween Hall of Heroes

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Like Molasses Kisses and candy Rockets, those little orange UNICEF boxes are a classic symbol of Halloween in Canada.

While the days of trick-or-treaters collecting coins to help vulnerable children around the world are long gone, the charity has launched a new kind of campaign that hearkens back to the original.

“We are really, really excited to announce that UNICEF is back for Halloween this year,” says Rowena Pinto, Chief Program Officer for UNICEF Canada. “We’ve taken what was a really well-loved program back when we were all children and made it digital to address some of the needs and changing environments for kids today.”

Pinto says kids still raise money for children around the world, but they can do it online and learn more about who they are helping.

“Children and their families can go to UNICEF.ca and sign up to become a Halloween Hero. Once they are in there, they can actually decide what kind of hero they want to be.”

If you ever carried a UNICEF box while trick-or-treating, you may recall the four characters on the front. There is a nod to those originals in the new campaign.

“The characters have jumped off the box and put on capes and masks,” explains Pinto. “They now represent the various areas in which we work for children — water, nutrition, health and education. Children can decide what kind of hero they want to be, set up their fundraising page and then start to ask friends and family throughout the month of October for donations.”

If they meet meet their fundraising goal, kids are inducted into UNICEF’s Halloween Hall of Heroes and receive a crest they can print out and wear.

“It’s an amazing program if you want to get your children thinking beyond themselves, getting involved in philanthropy and learning how to give back. The beauty of it is they can start as early as three or four years old — as soon as your child is ready to trick or treat, they can take part in Halloween Heroes. We’re asking all Canadians to register in October for a great family experience.”

UNICEF says it aims to create a new generation of empathetic and engaged Canadians who embrace their ability to make the world a better place.

“Halloween Heroes is built on a very powerful idea — kids defending the rights of other kids to grow up happy and healthy,” says David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. “By giving kids the ability to choose what they are fundraising for, it also allows UNICEF to educate them about global challenges and show them that they have the power to do something about it.”