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At a glance: United States of America

Goodwill Ambassador Sarah Jessica Parker helps launch ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’

© UNICEF HQ/06-1645/Markisz
Actress and Goodwill Ambassador Sarah Jessica Parker holds the signature orange ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ box.

By Kun Li

NEW YORK, USA, 25 October 2006 – The 56th annual ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ campaign was launched today at UNICEF headquarters in New York. Serving as this year’s campaign spokesperson is actress and Goodwill Ambassador Sarah Jessica Parker.

Like millions of others throughout the United States, Ms. Parker ardently trick-or-treated for UNICEF as a child. She remains a strong supporter of the organization’s work.

“My involvement with ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ is particularly dear to me because I participated as a child,” said Ms. Parker. “And now that I am a mother, I want to share the experience with my son.

“Halloween can be very focused on the amassing of bucket-loads of sweets,” she added. “Yet ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ demonstrates that kids can do good deeds and still have fun. A positive first experience with philanthropy can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of giving.”

© UNICEF HQ/06-1639/Markisz
Children from New York’s Public School 59 hold up orange boxes that will be used to collect money during this year’s ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ drive.

History of the campaign

On Halloween night in 1950, five concerned children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania went door-to-door to collect money for their peers in post-World War II Europe. They raised a total of $17 and donated it all to UNICEF.

Inspired by their innovative and philanthropic spirit, the campaign that came to be known as ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ was launched nationwide. In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson declared Halloween, 31 October, to be ‘UNICEF Day’ in perpetuity.

Over the past 56 years, US supporters of the ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ campaign have raised more than $132 million. And children now participate in Halloween-related fundraising campaigns for UNICEF in Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Hong Kong as well.

“‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ has undergone many changes throughout its existence, yet the values, commitment and passion that are at the root of the programme have remained the same,” said US Fund for UNICEF President Charles J. Lyons.

“With the support of parents, educators and community leaders, American children have the potential to save the lives of their more vulnerable peers,” he noted. “‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ gives them the resources and the vehicle to achieve their goals.”

© UNICEF HQ/06-1641/Markisz
At the launch of the 56th annual ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ campaign in New York (left to right): Goodwill Ambassador Sarah Jessica Parker, US Fund for UNICEF President Charles J. Lyons and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.

More than just having fun

At the campaign launch, Ms. Parker was joined by children from New York City Public School 59. Together, they put coins in an oversized orange ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ box. The children asked Ms. Parker many questions, including “What is like to be a mom?”

“It’s the best thing in the world,” she replied.

Dressed up as an invisible warrior, Tyler Nelson, 8, promised to give all of his allowance to help children in need “so that they can have clean water, food and education.”

UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman expressed appreciation for such generosity.

“What you are doing is very important because you are helping kids who don’t have the same opportunity as you,” Ms. Veneman told the trick-or-treaters. “When you go out on Halloween in your costumes, getting the candy you like, I hope you will remember you are doing something even more important than just having fun.”




25 October 2006:
UNICEF correspondent Kun Li reports on the launch of the 56th annual ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ campaign.
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Watch UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sarah Jessica Parker’s press conference.
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Classic UNICEF public service announcements:
Hear two celebrity radio spots promoting ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ in 1967, the year US President Lyndon B. Johnson declared 31 October ‘UNICEF Day’.

Andy Williams PSA

Julie Andrews  PSA

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