T.L.C.'s Wish List

We've had calls from all over the country. Everyone wants to help. They just want to know how they can help. Here's how:

  • KIDS! Pick out a job and help us reach our goal of One Million Dollars one coin at a time! Have your mom or dad be an advisor, recruit your friends to help.

If you can help with any of the following items, please contact Anne Ginther at 515-226-3357 or email anne@aga-recruit.com.

  • National Retail Outlets--Take a cue from Hy-Vee. Throw some orange dye in your bag production, put a T.L.C. logo on them (which includes trick or treat safety tips), and offer a safe place for kids to come when they're done trick or treating to drop off their money.

  • A Logistics person who can help us deal with the donations from corporations, etc.

  • Dory! Yep! This is a personal shout out to Ellen Degeneres. Talia, the 10 year old with the plan would like to brain storm with you on how you might be able to help our cause.

  • Someone who can help us produce a book or two about all that the kids have accomplished in 2005 to help with Hurricane Disaster Relief!

Creative / Art

This is something EVERYONE can do! If you like to color, YOU can be on the creative / art team!

Just coloring a picture on a piece of paper is all you need to do.

Your communications team can use that as stationary:
  • Send thank you notes to those who helped your team.
  • Send letters to kids in shelters (we can help hook you up--make sure the letters get to where they need to go)

Do you like PUFFY PAINT?

Make t-shirts for your team... create a team name/logo

Heck, I know some 5 year olds who made some awesomely one-of-a-kind t-shirts with their own signature style! :)

If you would like any of your work to be considered for publication (on our site or other media appropriate for the promotion of this TLC kids-movement) please be sure to have your parents sign a permission slip and send it in to us.

Please post other ideas in the comments section.

The TLC Executives

Zander Leman, age 6, Chief Operating Nemesis (CON) of TLC

Why you're NOT involved in T.L.C.

"Because I like candy. If they want to give me something else, too, they can give me more candy."

What did you do before T.L.C. became your life?

"I played with Talia more, but I like her map!"

Trivial Tidbits

"I think we should trick-or-treat for pirate relief. I would like to see a real pirate. I think they might be in danger of going extinct."

Talia Leman, age 10, Founder and CEO of T.L.C.

Why you're involved in T.L.C.

"I'm involved in TLC because they need our help. They are human beings and we are human beings, and in that way we are connected."

What did you do before T.L.C. became your life?

"I used to have a lot of after school activities, but I am not doing them now so I can take care of TLC. I go to a small school and I'm in 5th grade. My favorite subject is literature. My activities normally are piano, fencing, tap, ballet, horseback riding, soccer and classical voice lessons. I LOVE to sing, do projects, and read."

Role Models

Rosa Parks
Jane Goodall

Favorite T.L.C. Anecdotes

"A 13 year old girl from Idaho named Destiny called me from Idaho to ask how she could help. She didn't have an email or a computer, so we couldn't show her any stuff on our website, but she goes to school and is on a volleyball team, so she is going to help get her school and friends to help. Trick or treating is the best way to help, anyway!"

"A girl, maybe a grown-up, from the deep south emailed me, "You go girl! I'm proud of you!" which made me happy, because we will be able to maybe help her."

"A girl named "Talia" who is my age and lives in Israel sent me an email that she wants to help and send money. Now I need a new map—one of the whole world!"

Favorite Quote

"You don't have to be a grown-up, or have money to help. All you have to do is want to help."

Trivial Tidbits

" I'm a vegetarian. I like to swim, surf and ski. I have two pet gerbils, Bella and Ralphie, a cinnamon pied white-face cockatiel named 'Pomia' that wears a diaper and lives on my shoulder, and a part time dog. I like to wear my hair in looped braids like my German Omi did when she was my age. I like American girl dolls. I like musicals. I like Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Simon and Garkunkle. I'm reading the 'Series of Unfortunate Events' right now, but I usually have more than one book going."

Update on how Talia did trick-or-treating: She ran it like a race—she probably went to 60-70 houses in about an hour. The camera people and the security officer assigned to her could hardly keep up. The photographers were running with their tripods and finally implored her to let them get just one house ahead of her, just one time, so they could get a good shot.
She collected exactly $302.58!

Anne Ginther, young'ish mom, TLC Advisor, Founder of Halloween Helpers

Pictured above: TLC Advisor / Moms Anne Ginther (third from left) Gretchen Hansen (2nd from right) with some HILARIOUS Red Cross Volunteers in Baton Rouge.
Why you're involved in T.L.C.

In the wake of such devastation, I had to do something. I launched the "Halloween Helpers" website on August 31st inspired by a successful trick or treating charity campaign I ran a couple of years ago. I began to put out the word. A couple of weeks later, I saw a newspaper article about Talia's idea. I called her up. We joined forces. And MAN!!! What a force! I am honored to be a part of this wonderful campaign. Talia's a great boss.

What did you do before T.L.C. became your life?

I am a high-tech recruiter. I have run my own recruiting firm for eight years now and I love it. Although, I must admit, what I'm doing with TLC is thrilling. If any non-profits need a high-energy mom to help change the world through kids, let me know. You may have a taker! :)

I have done quite a bit of volunteer work with kids over the years: Junior Achievement, Church Youth Group leader, the works. I love helping kids find the value in themselves. It is wonderful to be able to empower them to change the world!

Role Models
Oprah Winfrey

There are many more. But these two come to mind because they seem to love what they do, and they give so much back to the world.

Favorite T.L.C. Anecdotes

When we were first realizing just how much TLC was catching on, we had a goal meeting session. We brainstormed. We discussed the telethon idea in her plan. We threw out talk-show ideas. I tell her to shoot for the moon. If she can have anyone she wants to help with a TLC event, who would she pick? I've got a whole list running through my mind… Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas, U2, OutKast, Kanye West, Green Day, Jessica Simpson, Hilary Duff, fellow Iowan Ashton Kutcher, and then of course there's Ellen, Oprah, Regis, Tony Danza, Letterman, Leno And so many more!

Talia's answer? Jane Goodall and Rosa Parks.


She is the coolest kid. She is so smart and self confident. Most of the time I forget she's only ten-years-old. I swear that if you were blindfolded in a room with us, you'd think my child-like enthusiasm was from the 10-year-old CEO, and her poised comments were from an adult.

Favorite Quote

"You must be the change in the world that you wish to see." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Trivial Tidbits

I'm writing a book. And with those four little words, I've just "outted" myself. I was writing under a pen-name for reasons explained on my book's site, but just recently revealed my full identity to my biological family. So now they know. Now you know.

I'm looking forward to celebrating with Gwen Stefani and the Black Eyed Peas in MN on 11/14 when this is all over. OK, I'll just be a random person in the crowd, but I can't wait! :)

I'm also a wife and a mom to a wonderful family--they've always been supportive when I go off on these wild projects!

Project Manager

A Project Manager can manage a group of kids' fundraising efforts in any area.
You can be as creative as you want to be.
"Hire" a recruiter--a kid who can get a hold of a lot of other kids to help.
Set goals
  • How much money do you want to raise?
  • Do you want to have a party or a central location for your team to meet after you're done trick or treating?
  • Do you have creative ideas on other ways to raise money in October? One 12 year old girl told us she's going to collect pop cans, and use the money from that toward the t.l.c. goal.
  • Delegate tasks to your team members (see other jobs for ideas on what your team members can do)
  • More to come... we're just scratching the surface! Please feel free to post comments here.

Thanks to Kaylee Hansen, age 17, in St. Paul, MN and her mom Gretchen for inspiring this idea. Kaylee wants to help. She's excited about organizing. And as we talked about it she said, "This would be a good thing to put on a college application some day." You BET it would! Go Kaylee!

Jobs for Kids

You don't need to have a finance degree.
You don't have to be a public speaker.
You especially don't need to be a grown up.
(although you definitely DO need a grown-up's okay on the project you choose!)

All you need is to be the wonderfully unique person you are to help us show the world that KIDS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
We've posted a few ideas here. More to come. And if you have a cool idea, please post it in the comments section. Maybe some kid on the other side of the country will read your post and think, "Hey, I can do that!"
Go Team!
You can use your OWN BAG, use the orange UNICEF box, or grab an orange trick-or-treat bag from any Hy-Vee grocery store. Instructions on what to do with your money are here.
We have much more to come! Please check back soon!
Once you've hired yourself, we better put you on our staff directory!
While these jobs don't offer a paycheck, they do offer some valuable experience that you'll remember for a lifetime!

By a TLC Artist from The Academy in Des Moines, IA


To report donations that went in the form of checks directly to a specific hurricane-relief charity, please scroll to the bottom of comments and click on "Post a Comment."
In this box, please put the following:
  • Your name
  • Your group's name
  • Your city and state
  • How much you or your group raised
  • Email address or phone number, or send a seperate email with your contact information to anne@aga-recruit.com if you'd like to receive future communications from T.L.C.

*Do NOT post anything here if you donated one of the following ways (as they are automatically tallied already): Hy-Vee store drop off, On-line through our website, UNICEF via COINSTAR. However, you are more than welcome to post a message of support by clicking this link and posting a comment on this page.

Under "Choose an Identity" click on "other" and put your name or your group's name, city and state.

And if your group has a website, please put leave that in the "your web page" section.
Thank you kids across the world. You ARE making a difference!
Be sure to refresh your webpage when you visit again, for the latest "not-so-scientific" tally. For alternative ways to donate $$ please click here.


We can only make our ONE MILLION DOLLAR GOAL with your help. Please consider adding this to your email signature for the next month:

Do you know of any kids who want to help hurricane survivors? Have them check out www.halloweenhelpers.blogspot.com to learn how they can support a national effort created by a 10 year old that culminates this Halloween.

Copy the letter below (updated 10/17/05) and email it to anyone who can help with this effort: Trick-or-Treaters, Community Leaders (Principals, Superintendents, Teachers, Faith Organization Leaders), Media, etc.

As seen on the TODAY SHOW (10-8-05) and MSNBC (10-6-05)

(See links below)

Children across the nation are tallying together how much money they are raising for hurricane relief.


The Governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, has acknowledged the efforts of this project, and has sent information about this endeavor to the Governors of all 50 states. This project was the brain-child of a 10-year old from Waukee, Iowa. She conceived of this idea as a Halloween fundraiser where children would Trick or Treat for Loose Change (T.L.C.). Some schools opted to collect loose change prior to Halloween by having kids bring in coins from home, while other schools have come up with their own creative fundraising efforts. At the end of the day, all schools and kids who have contacted TLC thus far said they wanted their success to be counted toward the national success of all children across America who want to help with hurricane relief.



Click on the link (below the pumpkin logo) that reads:

"Report your collected money here"

If your school or district is still collecting coins for T.L.C., or participating in T.L.C. on Halloween night, please report using any of the following methods:

Have schools collect the funds and turn over a check to any reputable charity of your choice. We are recommending UNICEF and the American Red Cross.

Turn in your loose change to any COINSTAR location (see www.coinstar.com for locations nearest you), and be sure to designate it to UNICEF. Trick or Treat for UNICEF will be donating to hurricane relief this year, and will tally any money turned into them toward the T.L.C. effort, and report it for you. For more info, please visit this link: http://www.unicefusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=duLRI8O0H&b=131717.

All money must be reported by November 6, 2005.

Thank you for your participation!

We salute your students, and the power of children everywhere, to make a difference!

--Anne Ginther and Dana Leman
T.L.C. Staff

Link to MSNBC newsreel:
Type in "Trick or Treat" then click on the thumbnail image. Video will play after a brief advertisement.

Link to the Des Moines Register front page article:

Link to T.L.C. website:

You may also get the message out by simply forwarding a link to this page. All you have to do is click on the little envelope icon with the arrow on it--on the bottom right hand page of this post--and then type in the recipient's email address. Thanks for spreading the word!

The Letter That Started It All

This is the plan that was drawn up by a 10-year-old girl in Waukee, IA. She faxed it to HyVee and the next thing you know, she has corporate sponsorship and media attention! The "telethon" idea hasn't gone anywhere yet. But she's thrilled that the word is getting out and that kids want to help!

T.L.C. Contacts

Nancy Berg, TLC Media Communications

Dana Leman T.L.C. Coordinator d.leman@mchsi.com
Anne Ginther T.L.C. Advisor, Halloween Helpers Founder anne@aga-recruit.com

Introducing Halloween Helpers for Katrina Victims

It's August 31st.
We're just starting to realize
the magnitude of the devastation
that Katrina left behind.
I want to do something.
I think you do, too.
This blog is my rally cry to the Youth of the World
You CAN make a difference!

I'm organizing an effort to
"Trick or Treat for Victims of Hurricane Katrina."

Kids who are starting to get "too old" to trick or treat now have an excuse to get out there and do it again. They can trick or treat for the greater good. Collect money for the Red Cross. I'm betting that anyone who's willing to give a check to the Red Cross might have a piece of candy or two for the kid, too.

In the coming weeks, I'll be posting announcements on how to organize this effort within your youth group or neighborhood.

I'll have a permanent link to the Red Cross here on my blog. Right now officials say the best thing we can do is stay out of the area, and donate money.

9/07/05 Please note: The next couple of weeks I'm focusing on some of the immediate needs of the survivors of Katrina. More information regarding Halloween Helpers will be posted as we get closer to Halloween, but we want to start getting the word out now, so we can have as much participation as possible. Thanks for stopping by.

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Getting Ready for the Big Event

We remind trick-or-treaters that you may have to comply with state or local rules regarding door-to-door charitable solicitations.

This message is geared toward some of the youth group leaders who have contacted me, but obviously you can use these ideas no matter the size of your group.

Right now you may want to put it on your events calendar and start thinking through local logistics. It's really up to you, the youth group leader, how you want to coordinate locally.

Some suggested ideas to consider:

  • Do you want to provide transportation for kids to get to different neighborhoods? If so, you'll need to arrange for the transportation and have parents sign permission slips. (While it might be fun for them to go in groups, it probably makes more sense for them to go with just a couple of friends).

  • Coordination of locations to "trick or treat." Don't over think this one. Simply remind the group that we want to avoid hitting the same house twice. So if several kids in your group live in the same neighborhood, they should talk amongst themselves and figure out who will cover which houses. (Nice way to promote teamwork!)

  • Halloween is on a Monday night this year. A school night. You might want to consider designating trick or treat times earlier, allowing time for the trick or treaters to drop off the money at a central location after they're done (all money needs to be turned in that night to avoid kids losing it, etc.).

  • Obviously, you'll need to have someone at a central location to collect all the money. Could be fun to make it feel a little like an open house... have some decorations up, perhaps use a white board as a "tote board" tallying up the donations, and perhaps highlighting the biggest amount collected thus far.

  • Consider bringing your parishioners into the mix. Encourage them to spread the word, and let them know that checks to the Red Cross are highly preferred. Ask them to donate a prize for most $$ collected, or best costume (you could take Polaroid's when they come in with the $$ and have your community vote the following weekend). Or perhaps they donate small special gifts--one to be given to each trick-or-treater who brings in $$.
    Then I'd ask you, or whomever you designate as the main coordinator, to email or call me that night with how much money was collected, so that I may post it on the blog. If you can email photos, I'll try to get them up on the blog, too. I'll need to know who collected the most money to be entered in the national contest (still thinking of an iPod as the prize).

  • I'll ask that you or someone you know take any cash and write a check to the Red Cross for that amount. Then stick all checks to the Red Cross in the mail directly to them. More details and address on this later.

    Consider talking it up now. Hopefully word will spread and more people in your community and neighboring communities will join in.

    I'll be adding more information to the blog as we get closer to Halloween. And I certainly welcome any ideas you care to share.

    Thanks so much. From previous experience, this should be a fun time and help a great cause!

Some schools have been putting a "T.L.C." bucket in their main office. Their students and staff dump their loose change in from time to time. Some schools have already mailed checks in to the American Red Cross as a part of the TLC effort. THANK YOU! IMPORTANT REMINDER: The Red Cross does not have the resources to track each TLC check. So please, contact anne@aga-recruit.com or d.leman@mchsi.com or leave a comment on our "Not So Scientific Tally" page and let us know how much you raised.

Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters, Iowa Halloween Trivia & Jokes!

Safety Tips:

*Walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks - not in the street.

*Cross the street only at intersections or crosswalks.

*Use a flashlight to see better and to be better seen. Place strips of reflective tape on your costume.

*Travel in groups of four or five. Young children should be accomanied by an adult.

*Visit homes that have the porch light on, and do not enter the homes.

Artwork by TLC Artist Reyna, The Academy, IA


Halloween in Central Iowa

We have a strange tradition central Iowa that finds trick-or-treaters on the candy trail the night before Halloween. They call this night "Beggars' Night." I'm not sure where the name came from. But this is how I learned about Beggars' Night:

It was the night before Halloween. The door bell rang. Who could it be? We were new to the area. We didn't know anyone. I opened the door. Imagine my shock and horror when I saw expectant children dressed as Elmo and a Fireman! To further compound my confusion, the children didn't say "Trick or Treat." Instead, these little costumed cutties offered up a riddle:

"Why was the ghost crying?"


"Come on... guess... why was the ghost crying?"

I'm still wondering why you're even at my door!

"Because he had a BOO BOO!!!!"

I quickly learned that another tradition in central Iowa is that you have to tell a joke of some sort in order to earn your candy.

So here are a couple of other Halloween jokes I found, if you ever find yourself in central Iowa the night before Halloween:

Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?
Because he didn't have the guts!

What do ghosts serve for dessert?

When is it bad luck to meet a black cat?
When you're a mouse!

What was the witch's favorite subject in school?

Where do baby ghosts go during the day?
Dayscare Centers!

How does a monster score a football touchdown?
He runs over a ghoul-line!
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