(October 30, 2020) It’s been 14 years (!) since UNICEF Canada sent out the UNICEF coin box to schools across the country so trick or treaters could fill them with pennies, nickels and dimes as they filled their buckets with candy.
In 2006, UNICEF Canada ended the program, saying the labour involved in rolling up all those pennies was becoming a disincentive for the teachers involved. At the time it was raising $3 million a year, which is 3.8 million in 2020 dollars. UNICEF USA continues to distribute the UNICEF box at Hallowe’en and is planning a virtual box for 2020.
In 2013, UNICEF Canada CEO David Morley blogged about the UNICEF coin box saying they were a “box that stopped a war. He noted, however, that, “Amid the horrifying conflict in Syria, right now, UNICEF is helping to provide emergency medical care, vaccinations, clean water, psychological care and learning programs for millions of children in that country and refugees huddled in camps and shelters in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.”
UNICEF continues to be heavily involved in Syria. And in the midst of the pandemic, it’s been hard for most Canadians to think about the needs beyond our borders.
In a salute to your own Hallowe’en boxes of the past, it might be nice to send a little love UNICEF’s way this Hallowe’en.