By Randi Corey, Director of Special Events
No, it isn’t October (yet!) but it won’t be long! The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) is actively seeking volunteers for its “Trick or Treat for HA” program. For the past two years, some HA families have been participating in this fun, educational, awareness-building fundraising event. Trick or Treat for HA can be coordinated in 4-5 weeks and doesn’t require a major time commitment from the volunteer leader but it has a big impact. In 2013, with a small handful of schools participating around the country, it generated over $30,000 for HA’s mission. (Keep reading, please – and if you’re interested in conducting this program in your community, NOW is the time to approach your child’s school before the end of the school year!)
How does it work?
Very simply, parents of children with hydrocephalus approach their child’s school and ask if the school’s students can participate in “Trick or Treat for the Hydrocephalus Association.” While it’s ideal if the entire school (or multiple schools!) participate, it can also be conducted with one or two classes or grades.
The event has two components:
1. Educational component — As part of the overall program, the parent/volunteer leader makes a short presentation about hydrocephalus to the students. This can be done on a class by class basis or during a school assembly. The parent may use one of HA’s age-appropriate outlines and matching PowerPoint presentations for the presentation – they are easily personalized for each school.
The presentation increases information about the condition and increases awareness about hydrocephalus among the students, their parents and the school staff. If the child with hydrocephalus is willing and comfortable doing so, s/he can participate in the presentation as well, answering questions from his or her classmates. Following the presentation the students are introduced to the Trick or Treat for HA program – participation is voluntary.
2. Fundraising component – After determining how many students will participate, HA will ship our parent/volunteer leader the individual donation collection pails. To help “put a face on the mission” many volunteer leaders print a label telling their child’s story which they affix to the collection pails. If preferred, HA can also provide a generic label.
The donation collection pails are distributed to participating students at school. Then, on Halloween, the kids take the pails while making their trick or treat rounds, asking for donations to HA. Some make the donation requests separately from the candy visits, some conduct collections in the days or weeks leading up to Halloween — it’s up the student and parent. After the students have collected the money, it’s turned in to the parent/volunteer leader who converts the donations to a money order (or check) which is then sent to HA.
This program has a great deal of flexibility and can be tailored to meet the schools needs or policies. Some schools will also hold school-wide fundraising events to supplement the “Trick or Treat” collections. Since the time frame for putting the event together this is very short once school begins in the Fall, we strongly recommend approaching your school now before the year ends.
If you are interested in getting more information about Trick or Treat for HA, we will connect you with one of the parent/volunteer leaders who conducted this last year and send you an information kit. Please contact Randi Corey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional information.