Halloween Giving

As a parent, I am always trying to find ways to help instill “giving” and “thinking of others” in my children. My kids are very blessed and I would like them to view themselves that way one day, even now. I think it can be a delicate balance to try and keep kids innocent while at the same time allowing them to be informed people.  I try and choose opportunities which allow them to make some choices and feel ownership in their giving.

I was reading the paper a week ago when I came across this brief news item.

Kids Hospital Seeks Halloween Costumes

I instantly felt this was a project my kids could be involved in. This was the same hospital we had visited only a month earlier. Honestly, I hadn’t thought once about the kids at the hospital in October. I always thought about families celebrating Christmas at the hospital but never Halloween.

The costumes needed to be new and in a bag to limit germ exposure. They were looking for costumes in size 10 and up and 2 and under.

I showed the kids the article and asked them if they wanted to participate. The catch was that I asked them to donate $1 of their money to help cover the costs, I would pay the difference. My six year old immediately said yes while my nine year old was hesitant. After a little pressure from his brother he agreed.

After school one day I took them to the Halloween store and let them choose a costume to donate. They examined the costumes for fifteen minutes, discussing each one in detail.

They finally settled on a Clone Trooper costume from Star Wars. Caroline and I settled on a ladybug costume as our choice.

We paid for the costumes and left.

I was extremely proud of my children. Not once did the boys ask for a costume or an accessory and not once did they complain that their costumes were made from Goodwill clothing.

The kids went with my husband to the hospital to drop off the costumes. They left them at the front desk for the child life specialist to pick up and bring back to some deserving child.

Hopefully two ill children or their siblings will enjoy dressing up and being a kid in those costumes. More importantly, I hope this is a giving tradition our family will continue for many years.


8 thoughts on “Halloween Giving

  1. Love it!! I know I absolutely love shopping for Christmas Angels and families. Last year when Amanda and I went shopping for the family we adopted, it took us hours to try and get them the most for the money we had to spend

  2. Kelly bringing up the xmas angels made me think of the scout activities when we adopted a family at xmas time and provided food and gifts, the lunches we worked to provide people who were hungary with sandwiches, etc and the angels we worked on as a family. Sometimes I wondered if they even noticed but when my own children started giving in traditions like this it brings tears, yes real tears to my eyes…

  3. Maybe it’s the hormones, but that brought me to tears! What a great story Jen. Each Christmas we’ve decided to buy a book/toy for a child in the hospital and through my work we participate in an ‘adopt-a-family’ giving program…but I never thought about Halloween.

  4. What a great idea to get the kids in the giving mood! I’ve never thought about Halloween costumes, but I love giving to others during Christmas & Thanksgiving. I will have to look at giving other times of the year too!

  5. This is so sweet! I especially love how careful your children were in picking just the right costume even though they weren’t for them. You are such a good Mommy!

  6. I love how you’re modeling generosity for your kids. I especially love how they have ‘Goodwill/handmade’ costumes, yet bought brand-new costumes for the kids in the hospital. Maybe this will be a yearly tradition for your family that will be passed on for generations. Wow. I want to copy you!

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