Saturday, November 03, 2007
"Collecting for Unicyle"
Growing up in California, the idea of the Unicef box for Halloween was an exotic east coast thing, featured in Judy Blume books, but never part of my world. So when I moved to New Jersey and saw the boxes on Halloween, I was delighted.
In the past few years, JT and I have undertaken projects to make him aware of the fact that not all children live in prosperity and plenty. We collect clothes to donate to the school clothing drive, we packed a backpack for kids displaced by Katrina, we donate a new toy to the toys-for-tots drive. I want him to be aware of an obligation to help make the world a better place.
These lessons made this year a perfect opportunity for JT to carry a Unicef box on Halloween. And he was eager participant, glad to help out. He was particularly inspired by the graphics on the box which noted that 6 cents would provide water for a thirsty kid and a $1 would immunize a kid against measles. He wanted to do his part.
Talkative as he usually his, JT has often been a reticent trick-or-treater. He's there for the candy, thank you, and conversation is optional. But when he and his buddy D went out with their Unicef boxes on Halloween, it seemed to unleash his rhetorical and fund-raising talents, and he would work it at the door, raising up the box and saying, "collecting for Unicycle." Happily, people understood what he meant, though it amused T and me, waiting back on the street. We wondered if "Unicycle" was a lesser-known charity for retired or down-on-their luck clowns.
This afternoon, we plan to cash in our Unicef change and submit the donation. I've promised to match what he has earned. And we'll both feel good for having done a little something to make the world a little better for children who aren't as lucky as JT.