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.

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