History of the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Campaign

How it all began…

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has been a valued Halloween tradition for over half a century with children carrying the famous UNICEF orange collection box on Halloween night. It all began in the United States in 1950, when a small Sunday School class in Philadelphia decided to collect coins instead of candy on Halloween. They sent their inspirational donation of $17 to UNICEF and an extraordinary movement was born.
In 1955, the Canadian UNICEF Committee was formed and launched its first Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Campaign. That year, school children collected $15,000. Since then, millions of Canadian children and young people have raised more than $90 million on Halloween to help saves and improve the lives of millions of the most vulnerable children in developing countries.

A rejuvenated Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Campaign

Fifty-one years later, in 2006, following consultations with educators from all regions, UNICEF Canada has revamped its annual campaign to make it more engaging, educational and fun for Canadian kids, as well as more relevant, flexible and easy to implement for teachers. We have also been listening to the concerns expressed by teachers, schools and parents regarding the logistical and safety challenges of the traditional door-to-door coin collection.
With the help of thoughtful teachers and educators across the country, we redesigned the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Campaign in 2006 to provide a modern version of the campaign that would offer more meaningful, flexible, creative and fun ways for schools and kids to get involved and support their peers abroad. Responding to the needs of teachers and young people, as well as meeting the objectives of the curriculum, schools and participating children can now undertake educational and fundraising activities throughout the month of October in support of a specific UNICEF programme, the Schools for Africa programme in Malawi and Rwanda.
To date, thousands of teachers have expressed their enthusiasm by indicating that the new campaign was not only educational, but also easier to implement. As for children who have been participationg in our Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Campaign, they all enjoyed the learning experience, the opportunity to get involved and the connection with their peers in Africa.