The ‘WHY’ of the Halloween party
I could barely wait! My cousins Siddarth and Rahul, residing in Swindon, UK were expected to arrive in a couple of days.Last year they visited us during Diwali and we had a glorious time together. This year they were arriving a little in advance and Siddarth’s mail indicated that he had something fun planned for us during the coming week. What could it be, I wondered and wondered. Well I could always pester him to break the secret assoon as he arrived!
The day dawned bright and clear and my cousins arrived mid afternoon.Cousins are indeed a joy to have around, more so because we belong to the same age group. That evening while we were catching up on the events of the last few months, Siddarth suddenly opened his idea-
“We should have a Halloween’s party this weekend. It is Halloween on October 31st. We have even got few costumes with us. We could make few more over this week! What do you think?”
I was super excited hearing this. I had never before attended a Halloween party! My mind was also starting to work on something else which had been nagging me for a while. We had visited a ‘Home’ last month from school and the visit still was fresh in my memory. It had made me think…such little children with barely 2-3 sets of clothes, used books, poor quality stationery and the ‘Home’ was in desperate need of maintenance. The entire episode may have not had such a strong impact on me, had it not been for their smiling faces and generous nature. One little boy had tugged me and offered his stubbed pencil as a going away gift. I desperately wanted to help them all in some way.
Of course I could, I realized. “The party could serve as a fund-raiser”, I thought to myself.
I discussed with my cousins and they promptly agreed. We gathered a group of friends and decided that we would organize a Halloween party, as a fund raiser for the ‘Home’. There was lots of work to be done. The hall was thankfully taken care of by one generous parent. We hunted for costumes. Then someone had a brilliant idea.
“Why not hold stalls for clothes?”
Anyone with old clothes could make Halloween costumes out of it and the same would be sold and go to the kitty. The motivation worked! Everyone hunted out their old clothes and making monster costumes was easy. We painted eerie designs on some fabrics , fitted patches on capes and made pumpkin costumes for the younger ones. Parents volunteered for face painting and we also bought masks for resale. For the sewing part, we roped in the mothers, who were more than willing to help after understanding the cause (they would have helped otherwise also, they are mothers J).
The stalls were a smashing success. The news had spread within our locality and our tickets and costumes were selling like hot cakes. Everyone wanted to be a part of this party and more importantly, help the cause. Now we only had the games, prizes, music and banners to take care of. The ideas poured in. We decided to have few games stalls, to be managed by parent volunteers. We made a lot of Halloween themed banners and also pumpkin shaped baskets for the little ones. We carved out Jack-o-lanterns, one of the symbols of Halloween and placed them in various spots in the Hall. Siddarth and Rahul planned out the games which they usually take part during Halloween.
On 31st October, we were ready…to make that eveninga grand celebration! We all ran around, making last minute preparations, ensuring that all details were taken care of! Mothers and grandmothers were busy the whole day making Halloween themed cupcakes for the stalls.
The crowds slowly started trickling in at 5 p.m. By 6 p.m., the hall was full of students and parents, dressed as monsters, ghosts, ghouls, witches etc. It was difficult to tell who was who in their costumes. The little ones were grouped in pairs and provided with pumpkin baskets and were given clues for their ‘treasure hunt’. They worked in pairs and approached various monsters for clues leading to their treasure. The winning team landed with a giant pumpkin basket filled with their favourite candies. What more could be a treasure for these little ones! The stalls were also a smashing success. Everyone enjoyed the Halloween themed goodies.
All of us participated in the ‘Trick or treat’ event arranged by Siddarth and Rahul. We visited various houses in our colony with our pumpkin baskets and collected goodie bags which generous parents had left for us on their porch. Every house had a Jack-o-lantern on the porch. We tottered back to the hall with our pumpkin bags full of ‘treats’!
Finally the much awaited event of the evening started- The Halloween dance! What a sight it was – ghosts, ghouls and witches started twirling about in the hall. A monster DJ ensured that the music rocked the show!The little ones left early, while the older children and few parents participated till midnight. Prizes were given for the best costume – Cinderella’s wicked Godmother stole the prize! The event had been a smashing success!
The next morning, we accounted all our collections with the help of parents and realized we had collected a whopping amount – enough to take care of all emergency requirement of the ‘Home’. That evening, we visited the ‘Home’ and donated our contributions along with the candies in our baskets.
Words are really not enough to experience the joy one can feel while helping a cause. That kind of joy simply needs to be experienced. So, go ahead, organize similar events for a cause, it will change you forever!