Every year it seems more churches are holding Trunk-or-Treat events in their church parking lots. I like holding this sort of event at the church and rolling it all into a big All Saints celebration. Perhaps that’s because one of my childhood memories was going Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF with church friends. I remember going around with orange cardboard boxes, collecting coins for children in need of food and health care. I think I even recognize some of the plastic face masks from this historical slideshow. (And be sure you see the picture of Spiderman and the UNICEF pumpkin.)
The Presbyterian Mission Agency Child Advocacy page explains that Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and the PC(USA) have long had a special relationship. In 1950 the Reverend Clyde Allison, a Presbyterian minister and curriculum editor, and his wife Mary Emma designed and organized a “kids helping kids” program. “They believed that every child is created and loved by God,” says the Allisons’ son, Monroe. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF was first introduced to Presbyterian junior high students and subsequently adopted by UNICEF as a fundraiser. Since then the program has raised over $164 million for children around the world.