Nobody enjoys tricks and treats as much as I do, and I would be the last one to encourage anybody to give up on the spirit of this creative and fun holiday. You can still enjoy creative costumes, spooky decorations and a lot of fun if you use Halloween as a chance to conduct a useful service activity. I like to call one of the easiest and most successful Halloween service activities reverse trick or treats.
Typically, this reverse trick or treats gets used as an opportunity for a food drive, but with planning, you could really use it to collect almost any sort of donations. Rather than venturing out to knock on doors when your neighbors might be away or busy, why not visit their doors to ask for donations when they are already home and expecting guests?
Reverse Trick or Treats: Food Drives
Almost all communities have food banks that appreciate regular donations. If you would like to turn your family or organization trick or treating night into a food drive, prepare a few days in advance. Print up a small flyer that you can leave in your neighbor’s mailboxes or on their door handles.
These simple notes or cards should highlight your group and the organization that you plan to help. Let neighbors know that you be holding a reverse trick or treat expedition and when to expect you. Ask them to collect a few nonperishable items to donate.
If you use this as an activity for a kid’s group, like scouts or band club, you can still encourage your young volunteers to dress up in costumes. The best way to conduct your walk around the neighborhood is by setting up the living room or garage of one of the families as a base camp. Make sure that every group has a wagon or hand truck to carry donations on. With younger kids, you should send out each group with an adult supervisor for safety.
Keep Spirits High!
Teams of volunteers might take turns knocking on doors and ferrying loaded and unloaded wagons around. You can stagger these teams, so everybody gets a turn scaring the neighbors and making the task more efficient. You might also set up a rest area with appropriate holiday refreshments to keep your volunteers hydrated and their spirits high.
Reverse Trick or Treating is as Fun as Traditional Trick or Treating
Having fun, helping a worthy cause and bonding with your group or family is quite a good trick, right? It is also very likely that kids will also get offered some treats as they make the rounds to collect donations. If you’d rather encourage healthy snacks, you might encourage them to donate most of their wrapped candy to the cause too. You could pass out appropriate gift bags after the event to reward your volunteers and insure yourself against Halloween tricks.