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31 days of Trick-or-Treat

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF can go far beyond just knocking on doors with your orange boxes. Clubs around the world are thinking “outside of the box” and doing their fundraising in other creative ways. We have compiled a list of those great ideas for jump-start your club’s brainstorming.

[1] A “hole” lotta fun. Start a Halloween-themed cornhole tournament. Build and decorate cornhole boards to look like jack-o’-lanterns. Cut out holes where the eyes and mouth are and make or buy bean bags. Ask teams to pay US$5 to compete in the tournament.

[2] Appeal to their tastes. Sponsor a pumpkin pie bake-off. If you attract professional bakers, divide entries into two categories: one for the pros and one for amateurs. Charge US$1.80 for each small slice of pie. Include a whipped cream, ice cream and topping buffet for an additional fee.

[3] A place to play. Set up a fall play day for moms with young children. Have club members sign up to staff booths for face-painting, games, sock-puppet theater and more. Ask for a small admission fee and see if nearby businesses would like to sponsor one of your activities. It’s also a great opportunity to educate mothers about The Eliminate Project. See if you can also partner with the local parent-teacher group at your high school to gain their support for your initiative.

[4] Cast your vote. Ask area farmers and pumpkin patch proprietors to donate pumpkins for a decorating event. Set aside time during a club meeting for each member to decorate one of the pumpkins. Ask if you can set up a display at the pumpkin patch or at a local library or business. For built-in crowds and publicity, partner with an apple orchard that hosts pumpkin patch activities. Have people vote for their favorite design by putting money in a Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF collection box. The pumpkin with the most donations wins!

[5] Collect donations while trick-or-treating. While going house to house in your quest for sweets, collect funds for The Eliminate Project.

[6] Create Frankenstein’s laboratory. Decorate a “mad lab” table for your school lobby or outside the cafeteria. Schedule white lab coat-clad volunteers to run the sale of “concoctions” before and between classes. Sell candy-filled test tubes or syringes as well as other such fiendish confections. Go to for bulk test tubes and candy. Or visit for countless bulk Halloween candies and novelties.

[7] Get in the game. Sponsor a
powderpuff football tournament like the Myers High School Key Club did. Charge for admission and refreshments.

[8] Guess the number. Set up a large jar of candy corn in a cafeteria. Let students guess how many pieces of candy corn are in the jar. Charge US$1 per guess. The winner gets the jar and a special scary movie!

[9] Hold a seriously spooky bake sale. Whip up some creepy treats for a bake sale at your school.

[10] Hold a creepy crawly car wash. Who wouldn’t want to get their car washed by a prince or princess? Your club will have a blast seeing each other in costumes while raising money to save moms and babies.

[11] Host a horrorfest. Obtain the rights to show a scary or wickedly funny Halloween film at your high school through Ask area grocers and restaurants to donate concession foods and supplies. Recruit parents and teachers to chaperone and assist with running the event. Then publicize your movie night well in advance at school, in the community and on social media outlets.

[12] Host a murder mystery. Host an “Eliminate the Suspects” murder mystery. Charge an admission fee. Need some inspiration? Check out what CKI members in New York did during their murder mystery.

[13] Host a spooky scavenger hunt. Host a spooky scavenger hunt near your school. Charge a US$5 entry fee per three-person team. Put together an awesome prize package for the winning team.

[14] Host a “spooktacular” festival. Put on a Halloween-themed carnival like the Key Club at Pinnacle High School did. Charge small fees for tickets to play games, make crafts and eat spooky snacks. Include family-friendly activities for younger children as well as traditional scary activities for older kids and teens.

[15] Host a Trunk-or-Treat. Partner with Kiwanis family clubs from your district to host a Halloween tailgate. Find an appropriate parking lot with good lighting and determine activities. Decorate your rides with dangling spiders, cobwebs and other festive materials. Invite community members to visit each vehicle or booth for fun treats and concoctions in exchange for a donation to help save moms and babies.

[16] Host a “Twilight” dance. Charge US$5 admission and invite guests to come as their favorite blood-sucking characters. Enlist chaperones so you can party until “breaking dawn”—but not a minute after—similar to a post-prom lock-in at the gym. Publicize and sell tickets early (with a cut-off deadline) to determine attendance and food requirements.

[17] Monster smash. Midterms coming up? Just need some relief from all of the academic stress? Host a car smash! Get an old car from a junkyard and charge US$2 for people to take a swing at it with a large hammer.

[18] Make your event a “hit.” Construct large pumpkins, ghosts and candy corn piñatas out of paper maché. Leave one hole open, fill it with candy, then close up the piñata. Charge a fee to hit a piñata and allow the person who breaks it to get the first pick of the candy.

[19] Pet parade. Host a community-wide Halloween pet parade. Charge a fee to dog owners who register their pets as participants in the costume walk.

[20] Run for the cause. Host a 1-, 3- or 5K Zombie Run the weekend before Halloween. Encourage the “undead” to wear ghoulish getups, and honor those with the most disgusting, most horrifying or most hilarious costumes. Ask local shops and eateries for prize donations in exchange for sponsorship mentions. And require runners to raise at least US$25 in pledges for The Eliminate Project to be eligible for prizes. Check the
October 2013 Kiwanis magazine for a story about a zombie run that raised US$14,000.

[21] Sponsor a haunted house competition—a haunted gingerbread house competition, that is! Charge participants US$5 to display their haunted houses or ghoulish graveyards outside your school cafeteria or in the lobby. Classmates and school staff can then buy 50-cent tickets to use as ballots and vote for their favorites. See if businesses will donate prizes, such as spirit wear, fast food gift certificates and movie coupons.

[22] Start a pumpkin smash. Ask area farmers and pumpkin patch proprietors to donate unsellable pumpkins for a punkin-chunkin’ event. For built-in crowds and publicity, partner with an apple orchard that hosts pumpkin patch activities. Seek a salvage yard to donate a car to serve as the target, and then ¬ find a hardware retailer to donate materials (and expertise) to build your catapult. Stage your event at the pumpkin patch and charge US$5 per pumpkin hurl. Check out the video of White Oaks Secondary School Key Club’s pumpkin smash at

[23] Team up for good. Ask a local restaurant to donate part of an evening’s earnings to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF like the
Key Club of Cypress Falls did. Make sure to publicize the event ahead of time to friends, family, neighbors and school staff.

[24-31] "Pick from the bonepile." Feeling creative? Here are more fun ideas to inspire you. Make them your own!

  • Host a penny drive.
  • Organize a benefit concert.
  • Have a poetry slam.
  • Organize an art show.
  • Rake leaves for donations.
  • Host a haunted house, hayride or trail.
  • Hold an apple-bobbing contest and charge admission.
  • Organize a spooky trivia night.

Once you’ve collected all your donations, send a check (made payable to the Kiwanis International Foundation) or money order to: The Eliminate Project, Kiwanis International Foundation, 3636 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268, ATTN: Trick-or-Treat. (Make sure you either include a donation form or a note with your club name. Remember to write your club’s name in the memo line of the check.)

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