This year, some well-meaning students at a local school decided they would do a noble and community-minded deed for Hallowe’en: they decided to eschew treats while going door-to-door, and instead request non-perishable food items for the food bank. My wife and I find this a little silly on many levels.
1. There was very little publicity about it – Cindy only heard the day of Hallowe’en from another neighbourhood Mom. So even if we had wanted to participate, we wouldn’t have had enough food in the house for more than a dozen or so kids.
2. Even if we had known about it, how do you prepare? The traffic in our neighbourhood varies wildly from year to year – from maybe a dozen to over a hundred. Are we supposed to go to the grocery store and buy a hundred cans of soup, when we could be stuck with 90 of them on November 1?
3. How do they expect to schlep all that stuff around? A pillow-case can only support so many cans of Spam.
4. Isn’t it all SUPPOSED to be about candy? That’s the whole point. What’s next – instead of getting your love a card and roses for Valentine’s, you make a donation to the Heart & Stroke Foundation?
Don’t get me wrong, I think the kids’ intentions are great. And we certainly believe in giving to and volunteering for charitable organizations. But c’mon – don’t take away a treasured childrens’ tradition in the process. What they could have done is collect their candy like normal, but hand the homeowner a piece of paper explaining the whole thing, and say they’ll return the next day to pick up any donations offered. Then the treat dispenser counts up all the pieces of paper, buys that many items the next day, and leaves them on the stoop for the kids (this time with a vehicle to store them in) to pick up the next evening. It would also be WAY more efficient to have one pick up crew do the neighbourhood than hundreds of individual agents operating independently.