|Girls from Namibia and the United States, dressed in their costumes, bring their Halloween contributions to UNICEF House.|
The tradition of 'Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF' began in 1950 in the United States, when Philadelphia schoolchildren first went door-to-door at Halloween collecting money in decorated milk cartons to help their global peers.
They raised a grand total of $17, kicking off a campaign that has since brought in millions of dollars each year to help UNICEF provide medicine, better nutrition, safe water, education, emergency relief and other support to children in more than 150 countries.
And millions of children now participate in Halloween-related fund-raising campaigns in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong, China, among other places.
But in these campaigns, children go far beyond trick or treating in scary costumes with the familiar orange collection boxes in hand. Children and young people take part in various fun and educational events that help them gain a better understanding of child rights and the challenges facing children around the world – including poverty, killer diseases and armed conflict. They help stage events to raise funds and increase awareness about these issues, and in doing so learn that they can help change the world.
In the USA
‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ is an education and fundraising initiative that, for over 60 years, has given US children, along with their parents and teachers, the opportunity to learn about their peers worldwide who are truly in need – and to raise money on their behalf.
US children have collected nearly $160 million by going door-to-door with the trademark orange collection boxes on Halloween and by planning fundraisers with their school or group.
In Canada, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is under way with an exciting online campaign, as children, parents, teachers and community members learn how their Halloween fundraising efforts help children in the developing world survive and thrive.
Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has been a proud Canadian tradition since 1955. The campaign is recognized by the Government of Canada through the permanent declaration of 31 October as National UNICEF Day.
In Hong Kong
Trick or Treat for UNICEF was introduced in Hong Kong in 2001. With the enthusiastic support of children and the general public, the campaign has raised funds for improving the well-being of the neediest children worldwide. The campaign was initiated in hopes that 'kids helping kids', by collecting donations instead of candies, can become a tradition in Hong Kong.