A little girl runs home from the bus stop after school. It is a dreary day, but it doesn’t dampen her spirits. Through the front door to her warm, cozy home, she darts straight to her room, impatient for what comes next. There, already lovingly laid out on her bed by her mom, is what she’s dreaming about all day – a pink satin gown with pale pink lace trim and a crown that will sit regally on her head. She is a princess everyday, but TONIGHT she will dress like one.
Her mom puts aside her text books for the night, thankful for the opportunity to make perhaps the second most exciting day of the year for children – after Christmas, of course – a fun and worry-free one for her daughter. As she places the crown upon her daughter’s head, the doorbell rings – it is time for reverse trick-or-treating. The girl grabs her pillow case and sprints to open the door for the first of her candy-bearing visitors.
Tonight, similar scenes will play out as FSH families on our four campuses celebrate Halloween. However, were it not for the generosity and assistance of many volunteers, this fairy tale ending would not be written – no pumpkins turning into carriages, no storming the castle and sleighing dragons, or even fairy godmothers.
U.S. families spend an average of $75 each year on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy, but for the disadvantaged, single-parent college students at FSH, this is a financial burden they cannot afford, even though they want their kids to experience all the same joys of childhood as other children. But with the help of our volunteers, our children find the perfect costume, have all the candy their parents will let them eat, and most importantly, a safe place in which to trick-or-treat. Instead of worrying where they will find an extra $75, the biggest Halloween worry of our student parents is if their kids will ever settle down for bed time after the sugar and excitement.
As your children finish trick-or-treating tonight, please keep our kids in mind and consider donating never-to-be-worn again costumes to our costume closet. And, if you don’t have kids of your own, consider volunteering for reverse trick-or-treating next year. Maybe we cannot change the financial situations of our families over-night, but we can bring smiles to children’s faces, one princess crown or piece of candy at a time.