By Maya Tolentino, Key Club International trustee
Glenwood High School’s Trick-or-Treat Drive-Through was exactly what children in Chatham, Illinois, U.S., needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, all local neighborhoods had closed for trick-or-treaters. Key Club members — avid annual participants with Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF — were looking for a way to ensure that kids could still get candy.
That’s when an idea came up: the Trick-or-Treat Drive-Through. After careful planning with the school administration and lots of advertising, the event finally came to fruition. That first year, Key Club members donned masks, gloves and their best Halloween costumes. Armed with bags full of candy, they gave handfuls to children who were slowly driven through the high school parking lot by parents, with vehicle windows down.
Key Club members earned service hours for participating (or for donating candy if they couldn’t make the date).
The event became such a hit with the Key Club and the community that members have held a drive-through every year since, improving and expanding it as they go.
“The kids have a lot of fun interacting with all the high schoolers, and the volunteers get a lot out of it,” says past Key Club President Grace Kang. “I personally have met most of the Key Club members from the drive-through, because at meetings, it’s all formal.”
Since 2020, the club has added a station at the drive-through’s end, offering participants a chance to donate money to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF as part of Key Club International’s Start Strong: Zambia initiative. Key Club is raising money for UNICEF USA to support the creation of community-based early childhood development centers in rural areas of Zambia.
Glenwood Key Club members are proud of finding a new way to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF that is beneficial for their club, community and kids in Zambia.
Says Kang, “It’s our biggest and best service project.”