For some, Halloween isn’t all about collecting candy or dressing up in scary outfits. It isn’t about having costume parties or telling ghost stories. For many, Halloween revolves around the Trick or Treat for UNICEF fundraiser that protects and saves thousands of lives all around the world. This year, MGCI’s Key Club is taking part in this initiative to raise money and awareness to support UNICEF’s efforts in the WASH project.

Key Club members prepare for Trick or Treat fundraiser. Photo by Angela Xu.

“The project we’ll be supporting is the WASH project, standing for water, [sanitation], and hygiene,” said Sarah Li, the club’s president. “For children, access to clean water and proper hygiene is important, especially during COVID times. With the money we raise, WASH will be able to support people in drought-affected areas with water access and hygiene solutions.”

Worldwide, more than two billion people lack access to safe, clean drinking water [1]. In response, UNICEF put together a plan to ameliorate unhygienic sanitation practices commonly found in many countries. Their project focuses on empowering communities through developing campaigns such as the Global Handwashing Day; establishing facilities with clean water and sanitation near schools; and setting up protocols to prevent and control infections. Furthermore, they prepare for and respond to humanitarian emergencies, meaning that resources are always supplied for crises. These initiatives have helped to raise awareness and support countries and communities in need. 

From 17 to 29 October, the club aims to raise money and awareness for the service project. In 2019, they were able to generate over 250 dollars for Trick or Treat for UNICEF, a grand success made possible by the generous students of Marc Garneau CI. 

“Our primary and most obvious goal is to fundraise for those in Haiti in hopes of improving their situation: alongside the aftermath of a major earthquake, they must deal with the effects of the ongoing pandemic,” said Fatima Sharipova, the club’s bulletin editor. “Second, we [hope to] raise awareness around one of many world issues and encourage students at school to contribute to the cause,” she added. “Finally, we want to show other youth that it is within their ability to make an impact on causes they are passionate about—whether it be through volunteering for existing fundraisers like this one or through starting their own. We hope that our service project will motivate students at MGCI to be leaders.”

To prepare for the event, members of the club wrote announcements to inform the student body, created vivid visuals to post on social media, and assembled and distributed donation collection boxes to classes. Key Club is asking for small donations from our large student body to raise money for the project. “We understand that COVID may put a financial strain on some families,” Sarah said. “Regardless, we are certainly excited!” When asked what the club is hoping for with the project, she added, “We hope that, no matter what amount we raise, it’ll make a difference for someone in need.”