Halloween is just around the corner and children everywhere are getting geared up, ready to take over the streets in their ghoulish best. As kids, we spent months planning the perfect costume. When the 31st finally came, we’d get all dressed up and run around the neighborhood, determined to make it home with the most candy. But what happens to the whole ensemble once the night’s over?
Too many perfectly good Halloween costumes end up lost in the basement or buried in the back of a closet. Meanwhile, there are kids across the country whose families can hardly afford food and housing, let alone costumes.
Making Halloween Kind
We knew there had to be people out there on a kindness mission to bring Halloween fun to kids without resources. After some research, we came across a nonprofit called ‘Ween Dream built to do exactly that!
Motivated by the belief that all children should have the chance to dress up on Halloween, Kelsey Meeks founded ‘Ween Dream. Since its beginnings, the ‘Ween Team has been working tirelessly to provide costumes for kids in need. Through a combination of company sponsorships, organizational partnerships, community involvement, donations and costume drives, the ‘Ween Team reports that they have been overwhelmed, “in the best way possible to see how far our reach has gone in such a short period of time!”
‘Ween Dream Chief Operating Officer, Alli Womac states, “Our first Halloween in 2014 started in Kelsey’s living room, with a handful of volunteers and 60 costumes. Today, we have costumed almost 15,000 ‘Weensters in over 40 states.”
‘Ween Dream’s Why
Womac went on to explain that there are already so many nonprofits out there focused on helping children and families to ensure basic needs are met (i.e. food, clothing, healthcare, etc). Childhood, however, is so much more than basic needs. It’s the freedom to “dream, imagine, and play.” It’s important to cultivate that curiosity, to inspire and teach kids that they can do whatever they want to do; be whoever they want to be.
Womac states, “Kids with muscular dystrophy get to have big, superhuman muscles. Girls who can’t afford dance lessons get to twirl in the sparkliest tutu. A child who wants to be a doctor someday can start to practice with their mini white coat and plastic stethoscope.” Womac noted that the ‘‘Ween Team realizes that these costumes give kids strength, empowerment, and the ability to be a kid in the face of adversity.”
We asked Womac to share her favorite ‘Weenster story with us; one that illustrates her passion to keep showing up for this work. What she told us warmed our hearts. Womac spoke of a young girl who “suffers from a medical condition that makes emergency room visits a normal part of life.” Womac explained that after Halloween, her mother sent the ‘Ween Team a picture of her daughter at the emergency room, “IV in her arm, a smile on her face–dressed in her Wonder Woman costume!” The girl’s mother told Womac that she refused to leave the house unless she was wearing the costume, “because it made her feel strong.”
How’s that a for kindness impact?
If you’d like to add some extra kindness to your Halloween this year and support ‘Ween Dream’s mission, check out their website for a list of accepted items and donation instructions! Costumes are welcomed year round and can be donated from anywhere in the U.S.
Have a happy and kind Halloween!