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Trick or Treat for UNICEF, an American tradition

Halloween 2003 to Hold More Treats than Tricks for Children around the World

NEW YORK, 27 October 2003 - Good ideas often have humble beginnings. Such is the story of "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF," which started in 1950 when a group of young trick-or-treaters went door-to-door on Halloween with their pastor in Philadelphia.  At each door, they not only opened their bags for candy, but held out empty milk cartons to collect coins for children in need overseas. They collected $17 and sent it to UNICEF. The result was much bigger than those children ever imagined.

Today, Halloween means more than candy, costumes, ghosts, and goblins. It means vaccines, clean water, and improved nutrition for less fortunate children. It means educating our children about the importance of multi-culturalism and community values. "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" is a full-year program that provides youth leadership opportunities even after Halloween. 

Since 1950, "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" has been responsible for bringing new meaning to Halloween. Through the years, the children of the United States have raised more than $119 million to help build a better future for children around the globe.

"When we were learning about UNICEF, I realized that I actually make a difference and that I have the power to save another child's life," said Caitlin, a 7th grade student. "Children can help children and that's why I took part in helping to save lives with UNICEF."

Here are some examples of how a little money can go a long way:

  • Just $1 protects a child from polio for life. Once at epidemic proportions in the United States claiming some 50,000 victims annually in the 1950s, today polio still strikes children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  • Additionally, $1 immunizes one child against the deadly disease measles. Measles claims more children's lives each year than wars, famines, and natural disasters combined.
  • $2 can provide 66 children with vitamin A capsules for a year. Vitamin A protects children from permanent blindness, helps them grow strong and protects against certain types of infections.
  • Just $2.46 can buy school supplies, such as pencils, books, chalk, slate board and paper for one child for one year.
  • Just $9 buys a pack of 200 water purification tablets. Five million Iraqis already lack access to safe water. Drinking unsafe water can lead to diarrheal diseases, which kills 1.5 million children each year.

"One of the greatest benefits of 'Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF' is that it gives American children a wonderful opportunity to learn about the world around them," said Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "And when American children 'Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF,' they are literally helping to save other children's lives."

To help promote the American tradition of "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" this year, we have the support of corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Pier 1 Imports, IKEA, TIME For Kids, and Coinstar.

The 53-year tradition of "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" offers children the chance to gain a meaningful experience during Halloween festivities, while still having fun. By carrying the orange UNICEF collection box, children in the United States raise money to help children in need worldwide, and, in the process, learn the important role they can play in helping each other.

For further information, please contact:

Marissa Buckanoff, U.S. Fund for UNICEF Media, (212) 922-2485
Craig Causer, U.S. Fund for UNICEF Media, (212) 922-2517


 

 

 

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Facts

+ $1 protects a child from polio for life. Once at epidemic proportions in the US claiming some 50,000 victims annually in the 1950s, today polio still strikes children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

+ $1 immunizes one child against measles. Measles claims more children's lives each year than wars, famines, and natural disasters combined.

+ $2 can provide 66 children with vitamin A capsules for a year. Vitamin A protects children from permanent blindness, helps them grow strong and protects against certain types of infections.

+ $2.46 can buy school supplies, such as pencils, books, chalk, slate board and paper for one child for one year.

+ $9 buys a pack of 200 water purification tablets. Five million Iraqis already lack access to safe water. Drinking unsafe water can lead to diarrheal diseases, which kills 1.5 million children each year.

U.S. Fund for UNICEF

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