A few weeks ago, as Halloween was approaching, my room mates at the Micah 6 House and I decided that we should do something for Halloween. The obvious conclusion was try to get some of our friends out here to hand out candy with us. A few days later, our friend Cole at Rochester College volunteered to bring about 40 students out for a trunk-or-treat. And that’s how it started.
Leading up to the event, the three of us printed out flyers and knocked on every door within three blocks of our house. We told anyone who was brave enough to open the door (we did get several people shouting, “I paid my electric bill!”) that we were going to be in front of our house handing out candy.
We stopped by the house of an old friend that I mentioned before. He answered the door, and asked what we were up to.
“We’re going to be handing out candy at our house tonight. We’ve also got some friends coming and handing out candy with us.”
He, in a moment of real honesty, said “You know, no one does that, right?”
I asked for some clarification, and he explained “no one trusts this neighborhood enough to let their kids out at night, and no one trusts their neighbors enough to open the door when someone knocks.”
“Well,” I said. “We’re going to do it!”
“I’ll bring my kids over, because I know and like you guys.”
We got the same kind of reaction from people all over our neighborhood. Many of them said, “We weren’t going to take our kids out, but we want to come. Is it okay if we don’t have costumes?”
Our friends from Rochester college pulled up, opened their cars and started getting ready to hand out candy. Kids trickled in, most without costumes, but all excited for candy. Parents stopped off, said thanks and walked back home with their kids.
In the end, we probably had the same number of volunteers as we did kids–close to forty. We had a good turn out on both the volunteer and kid front. It was a good time had by all and hopefully an event that we can build on in the future as we continue to establish our house as a place of peace in this neighborhood.