When I was younger, Halloween was everything to me. The scary monsters, the creepy crawlies, the candy – I loved it all. Now that I’m older, every year I think about how much fun it was to be someone else for a night. I got to be Luke Skywalker, Spider-Man, Tigger the Tiger, and my favorite baseball players. But not everyone gets that same experience.
Since the pandemic, many families around Texas have faced economic challenges, and their kids can’t get the full Halloween experience due to the high cost of costumes. So, in 2021 my family and I set out to change that. We started Y’alloween, a 501(c)(3) charity that provides new costumes to kids in need. In 2021, we worked with our first partner, the Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC). We raised money to provide every kid in their care (over 50 kids) with a costume.
Last year, we partnered with two more organizations, as well as HAWC, to increase our total to over 200 costumes. We helped Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) and Assurance Therapeutic Outreach (ATO) by providing costumes for kids in their programs. Our work with these organizations raised our profile and helped us fundraise. We started to get support from businesses, like ONE Digital, who held a costume drive, and were featured on many news outlets.
This October, we are expanding to Austin to work with the Rathgeber Center for the Salvation Army. This new partner will add another 150 costumes to our total. This will be the first shelter that we are helping outside of the Houston area, and the biggest shelter to date. In two short years, we have grown from providing 50 costumes to over 300 for kids in need – all thanks to generous donations from our community.
Over the coming years, I want to grow my charity to help more kids – I know that this can be the biggest Halloween charity in Texas!
Editor’s note: To find out more about Y’alloween or to donate, visit www.yalloween.org and follow on socials @yalloweentx.
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