UNICEF Canada, long-associated with fond trick-or-treating memories for many Canadians, is launching a new reimagined initiative to celebrate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 will now feature the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon, to encourage families across Canada to turn their trick-or-treating steps into a safe, socially distanced walk-a-thon throughout their neighbourhood during the Halloween season. It also reintroduces a digital version of UNICEF's iconic orange box to enable children to celebrate and raise money in a physically distanced way.
To keep the Halloween spirit alive, UNICEF Canada's Halloween program is encouraging children to dress up in their costumes, walk their neighbourhood with their families or bubble and thrill their community while supporting kids in need around the world. The safe, socially distanced walk-a-thon can take place throughout their neighbourhood on Halloween or any time during October.
"Kids have sacrificed some of their childhoods to help stop the spread of COVID-19. They've missed school, sports, graduations, and other milestones of being young," said Rowena Pinto, Chief Program Officer at UNICEF Canada. "The UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon offers families a safe, unique opportunity to celebrate Halloween while helping protect the world's most vulnerable children from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows kids to help other kids —but also allows them to just be kids themselves."
UNICEF Canada is also excited to announce its newest Halloween Champions, singer-songwriter and pop superstar Johnny Orlando — who just dropped his latest smash single 'Everybody Wants You' off his upcoming sophomore EP, scheduled for release this fall — and actor and social media influencer Lauren Orlando. They will join GFORCE, a musical group of young girls from the Toronto area who made it all the way to the quarterfinals on America's Got Talent in supporting UNICEF's Halloween Walk-a-thon.
"Kids have the ability to make the world a better place. I'm excited to join the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon to provide a safe, socially distanced activity that not only keeps the spirit of Halloween alive, but empowers kids to make a difference," said Johnny Orlando. "I'm encouraging my dedicated fanbase, which includes millions of empathetic and engaged kids from around the world to embrace their ability to defend the rights of other kids to grow up happy and healthy."
Here’s how you can participate in the UNICEF Halloween Walk-a-thon. Children, families and adults can join the walk-a-thon and set up their own fundraising page at unicef.ca/Halloween. Participants who sign up by October 9, 2020 will receive a walk-a-thon package in the mail, including an exclusive Halloween Hero Card with a QR code to help collect digital donations — a new digital form of UNICEF's orange box. Money raised goes towards providing essentials like water, nutrition, education and health care to children in need around the world.
To donate or learn how to get involved visit unicef.ca/Halloween.