It’s October, and we can feel the chill of Halloween in the air!

We can’t wait to join children and families across Canada for the UNICEF Halloween walk-a-thon to raise funds for children worldwide.

Here are five things about UNICEF Halloween to keep you informed and inspired as you raise funds!

Children taking part in UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon

1.From coins and candy to orange boxes to QR codes

UNICEF Canada’s fundraising is digital now, but for many years the pumpkin-coloured carboard boxes made UNICEF top of mind for Canadians during the Halloween season. In fact, UNICEF Canada’s own ‘origin story’ is closely connected to Halloween.  

The tradition started in 1950 in Pennsylvania when a minister Clyde Allison and his wife Mary Emma and their children started asking for coins and candy while trick-or-treating as a way to help children in Europe who’d been impacted by the World War II. When this form of donations reached Canadian homes and neighbourhoods – the response was so great that in 1955 it prompted the opening of a UNICEF Canada office to help Canadians organize and fundraise on Halloween themselves!

Over the years the little orange-coloured boxes that are familiar to so many generations were carried by children all over Canada to collect donations for UNICEF. Following the ending of the penny in circulation in Canada, the Halloween collection boxes were also discontinued by UNICEF, then finally in 2019 the Halloween campaign was reintroduced digitally.

Today you can raise funds online or scan QR codes to go to donation pages directly!

2. The Halloween Heroes are based on four main pillars

UNICEF’s work is based on four pillars: water, nutrition, health and education. If you look closely at the little mascots for UNICEF Canada’s Halloween Heroes you will see that each one represents one of these four pillars! These four heroes have appeared on the UNICEF’s Halloween collections boxes for many years.

3. Donations go a long way

Whether it’s five dollars or fifty – Canadian children have played a vital role in fundraising for UNICEF since the 1950s – at the same time Halloween has also been the first introduction to Canadian kids to philanthropic giving and understanding how their donations can have an impact on the life of children around the world!

In 2022, here is a glimpse of the impact your donations can make:

  • $57 can provide 96 packets of Plumpy’Nut, a life-saving therapeutic food, to 32 children who suffer from malnutrition.   
  • $22 can help protect 91 children by providing safe water with water purification tablets and bars of soap. 
  • $120 can provide 20 children with school supplies including backpacks filled with the classroom essentials a child needs to learn, thrive and reach their full potential. 
  • $81 can provide 174 life-saving vaccines to protect 66 children from preventable diseases like measles, polio and tetanus.
What's your favorite scary walk?

4. Schools are encouraged to participate!

Schools have played an essential role in supporting UNICEF and helping teach new generations about the value of philanthropy and the work we do for children. This year, we encourage schools and classrooms to host events and collect donations throughout October to help raise funds for the right to education in Malawi.

Learn more on how to register your class here.

5. You can easily take the first step, jump, skip or hop – whatever you prefer – and start raising funds online today!

Children, families and adults can join our Halloween Walk-a-Thon by registering online, choosing a fundraising goal and sharing the link with family and friends to sponsor your walk.

When you finally go out trick or treating on October 31, hopefully you are already close to reaching your goal!

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