Volunteering on Halloween

Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year – how could you not love dressing up as your favorite character and trick-or-treating for pounds of free candy! But what could be even more satisfying than free candy? Volunteering your time to someone else.
 
Sadly, there are children who live in shelters or are sick in the hospital that unfortunately cannot go trick-or-treating. However, this doesn’t mean that Halloween fun can’t be brought to them. Call your local shelters and hospitals and ask if they are doing anything for their kids, and if they are in need of volunteers. Note – it is important you do not show up unannounced or without speaking to program coordinators first.
 
But your options don’t stop there. Halloween isn’t just celebrated in North America - even volunteers in the Peace Corps have incorporated Halloween into their lesson plans!
 
Peace Corps volunteer Veronica Moermond of Cincinnati, Ohio, shared scary stories with her English language club in Mongolia to teach students new vocabulary words and improve their English comprehension skills.
 
“My students were hanging on to my words, both with suspense and an attempt at close listening to understand a foreign language. At the story’s climax, my students just about jumped out of their skin before collapsing into fits of nervous giggles for about five minutes—seriously one of the best moments I've had while here.”
 
Recently returned Peace Corps volunteer Samantha Ginsburg of Greenwood Village, Colorado, brought Moroccan youth to a Halloween carnival organized by her fellow Peace Corps volunteers and community members. The carnival was held at a youth club in southeastern Morocco and more than 120 children attended.
 
“The kids participated in classic Halloween activities like bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving and face-painting,” said Ginsburg. “The event was a huge success!”
 
Have you ever volunteered in another country and taught foreign children an American tradition? Share your stories with us in the comments section below!