It’s that time of year again! The days are getting cooler, the leaves are changing colors, and apple cider is hitting the grocery shelves. Autumn is a great time to celebrate change, but it’s also a great time to give back.
In fact, October is only a few weeks away and that means Halloween is fastly approaching. Halloween for your family might mean decorations, costumes, fun, and candy. However, for certain children, this isn’t always the case.
At Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, the kids aren’t able to enjoy the same pleasures of Halloween like others can.
This is because most Halloween candies contain chocolate or nuts which can interfere with medical treatments and medications the patients receive. Therefore, these kids cannot enjoy the tradition of Trick or Treat.
That’s where our insurance agency comes in! Every year we run our annual Reverse Trick or Treat, a toy drive donation that brings Halloween right to the children at the medical center.
So, what is Reverse Trick or Treat?
Since 2010, we have worked with the community to deliver gifts and toys to the children at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center every Halloween.
Gifted toys may be associated with other holidays or birthdays, but they can still keep the spirit and excitement of Halloween alive! These gifts make each patient feel special and included. The difference it makes is incredible. Children grin brightly every year and our community feels a rewarding sense of well-being knowing they made a child’s day.
So, how can you help?
The Reverse Trick or Treat campaign works with the help of YOU. Without you we cannot provide these children a variety of loving gifts without your donations. The more donations we have, the more we can give to each patient!
All you to do is stop into our office on 8 East Main Street in Stafford, CT from now until October 24th with your gift and we’ll make sure it gets to the children’s medical center. Donations don’t have to be brand new, but they should be in a good, clean, and usable condition. Toys that are plush, however, should be new and include the tags.
You don’t need to be local to give back either. In fact, we set up an online PayPal donation site for our friends far from the agency. Reverse Trick or Treat isn’t a campaign specific to our community of Stafford, we want everyone to get on board and get involved! 100% of the proceeds will go to the children at the medical center.
If you’re a business owner, we encourage your business to get involved as well! Simply leave a donation box at your business and spread the word about Reverse Trick or Treat. Of course, please let us know if you do plan to participate. This way we can stop by your business, collect your donation box, and thank you for your generosity.
What can you donate?
Toys of course! But, it doesn’t need to stop there. Toys don’t need to be traditional doll houses and race cars. Action figures, coloring books, blankets, and backpacks are perfectly acceptable, as well! However, if you’re in need of some ideas, here are some great things to give:
Every kid loves a good board game, and what better way to bond with the family and friends through a game like Monopoly, Pictionary, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Scrabble?
Card games like Uno and Go Fish are great for younger children, and education activity books that include word searches or mazes are great for any age!
2. Arts & Crafts
Art can be therapeutic for anyone, but imagine being a child who has to be in a hospital all day, having to undergo very stressful procedures. Things like non-toxic paints, stickers, markers, colored pencils, crayons, sketch paper, and coloring books are great ways allow these kids to express their emotions in a healthy manner.
3. Hands-On Activities
Kids can get bored and restless easily, so it’s important we provide every child with something that can entertain them for hours!
Help take the stress off a child’s mind with a project that allows them to be hands on and have fun. Puzzles, legos, or jewelry kits can keep any child busy for hours. Not to mention, they help keep their young minds sharp!
Most kids love stuffed animals or plush toys to snuggle with at night. Almost every kid loves having a stuffed animal or doll to cuddle up with. They help children feel less afraid and feel a sense of companionship a child may need during a hard time in their lives. Children treat toys like these with extra care and often keep them for years after they’ve received it. Giving a plush or stuffed doll to a child will fill them with warmth and happiness, so donating a toy like this can have an impact for a lifetime.
If you do choose to donate a plush toy, just make sure it’s brand new and has all of its tags. The plush should be recently purchased too, because sitting in a closet or shelf can accumulate dust and other irritants. The plush should be sewn securely and have its eyes, mouth, and other accessories attached. It’s also important to make sure the plush contains poly-filler over sawdust, beans, or foam balls. Fillers other than poly-filler can cause allergies and irritation in young patients, so be aware of what you’re purchasing.
Remember, no candy!
Any gift big or small that will make a child happy will be great, just remember no candy is allowed! The whole purpose of Reverse Trick or Treat is to offer children a fun alternative to Halloween snacks they can’t consume.
We’re incredibly grateful for every donation we receive for the Children’s Medical Center. So, let’s make 2017 our biggest donation year yet! The more we receive, the more we can give back to these kids.