The best thing about Halloween is "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF (the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund)," a program that has helped millions of children worldwide for over 50 years.
The idea began in 1950 by Philadelphia pastor Clyde and his wife Mary Emma Allison. Their youth group collected $17 in decorated milk cartons on Halloween and the money was used to buy powdered milk for children in developing countries.
Since then, U.S. children have collected over $119 million by going door-to-door with the trademark orange collection boxes.
"My dream for the future of "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" is that it will grow as fast in the next 50 years as it did from the first seeds that were planted," said Mrs. Allison.
Today, in addition to enjoying their costumes and candy, kids can ask their neighbors and family for spare change to help children in need worldwide.
Actress Audrey Hepburn, who served passionately as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for five years, said, "As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others."
Even a little help is a lot. For example, one dollar will cover the costs to immunize a child against polio for life; thirty cents can fund five days of antibiotics for a child with pneumonia. While helping those in need, children also learn the importance of compassion and generosity, and the role that they can play in helping others.
As American editor and writer Charles Dudley Warner once said, "It is one of those beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
Treat the world to your generous heart.