Trick-or-Treat for a New Kind of Thrill

(Family Features) For most kids, Halloween is all about costumes and candy, but it can also be a chance to demonstrate how helping others brings its own set of rewards.

This October, children, families and schools across the country will join in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, a month-long celebration of the power and impact of kids helping kids. Throughout the month, kids, parents and teachers can add purpose to their Halloween activities by collecting donations in support of vulnerable children.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF encourages children to be “scary good” this Halloween and help their peers around the world. Equipped with iconic orange collection boxes, kids can raise funds that add up to lifesaving change: $8 can buy a kit to give one family clean water to drink; $15 can buy a box of five mosquito nets to protect kids from deadly malaria; and $55 can buy one box of therapeutic food treatment to save a child from severe acute malnutrition.

Sharing the caring
In addition, a series of partners and supporters are also making it easy to help.

This year, HSNi Cares, as a national partner, will continue to raise funds and awareness to support UNICEF through all of its brands: Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road, HSN and Improvements. Throughout September, customers will be able make a donation to the children’s humanitarian organization online or over the phone at all brands.

Key Club International will participate by raising funds for The Eliminate Project, which seeks to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, a deadly disease that claims the lives of thousands of babies and mothers each year. Key Club International, a student-led service leadership program of Kiwanis International, is the oldest and largest service program for high school students. For more information, visit or

American Airlines will support the campaign through UNICEF’s Change for Good program, which converts customers’ donations of foreign and domestic currency into lifesaving services for children. From Oct.16-31, American Airlines flight attendant volunteers will make Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF-themed announcements and collect donations from customers on select international flights.

Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, will team up with Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its best-selling children’s book series “Goosebumps.” Popular character Slappy and his monstrous friends will be featured on the collection boxes as well as

Make it social
Families are invited to share their Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF story on social media with the hashtag #ScaryGood. Parents and teachers who participated when they were children are also invited to share their experience with the hashtag #TBTOT4UNICEF.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF – the original kids helping kids campaign – has raised nearly $177 million since 1950 to help UNICEF provide children around the world with lifesaving nutrition, water, vaccines and more. For more information, visit


October takes me out to the ballgame


This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love getting dressed up and trying to scare the pants off of my friends and family. I also have an affinity for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and candy corn.

However, I really like October because it means the Major League Baseball season is kicking into high gear in the run-up to the World Series.

Baseball is my favorite professional sport to watch. I root for my beloved St. Louis Cardinals every chance I get. For me, there is little as exciting as watching a do-or-die game in which the team’s future in the chase for the championship is on the line.

Baseball is America’s pastime for a reason. Sure, sports like football might have larger audiences nowadays, but baseball will always be the king in my book.

I grew up playing little league, and I loved every minute of it.

My only regret from high school is not playing baseball, but a series of shoulder surgeries made playing next to impossible.

Sure, some people claim the sport is boring because it is too slow-paced, but it is an incredible game of strategy. Pitching changes, pinch-runners and any other personnel change might slow things down a bit, but it is all part of a carefully orchestrated attempt by the managers to win the game.

In what other sport do you get to see such gamesmanship like that? Not many, that’s for sure.

Beyond the chess-like strategy of baseball, think of the history of the game. I’m an admittedly huge nerd, and I love how there are statistics for nearly everything in baseball, and those figures date back to nearly the first pitch ever thrown in a game.

For much the same reason I love golf so much, I also appreciate how individual the game of baseball can be.

Sure, there is a team of nine guys on field, but when it comes down to it, the game revolves around individual match-ups between the pitcher and the batter. With one swing of the bat, a solid hit can change the directory of the game.

The game is nerve-wracking to watch, and I can’t get enough of it.

So, when various ghouls and goblins come knocking on my door later this month, they will probably be able to hear me cheering in joy or screaming in agony as I watch post-season play. They might think it is part of my Halloween celebration, but they will be wrong.

It’s just me watching baseball.