Meet the Little Orange Box That’s Changed the Way Kids Trick-or-Treat

- Lauren Miura



…isn’t usually known as a holiday for giving back, but Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a way for kids to help other kids on Halloween, while learning about global citizenship. It’s so good, it’s scary…and best of all, anyone can join in the fun!  All you need is a little orange box (you can DIY one here). 

Since 1950, kids across the country have headed out into their neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, asking for coins instead of candy to help kids in need around the world. 

“Originally started by a family in Pennsylvania to help children in Europe after World War II, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF was one of the country’s first youth volunteer initiatives,” said Emma Quong, a spokeswoman for UNICEF USA. “Since its humble beginnings, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has grown into a month-long celebration of spooky fun and global citizenship,” Quong said. “Time and time again, this initiative proves the incredible power of kids helping kids.”



…spare nickels, dimes and quarters have added up over the years. Kids have raised nearly $177 million for UNICEF by trick-or-treating with the iconic little orange boxes. 

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is a trusted charity that’s credited with helping to save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. The funds raised by Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF help provide children with life-saving essentials like health care, immunizations, water, sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. 

The initiative teaches kids that donations of all sizes matter: even $.50 can help provide a packet of therapeutic food to a malnourished child. 



…Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is an opportunity to teach kids about global issues and the value of helping others, and provides a concrete way for them to make a difference. Not a bad lesson to reinforce while they’re stuffing their faces with candy.

With so many global events affecting children -- the recent Indonesian earthquake, the Syrian Civil War, the global refugee crisis, and child separations in the U.S, to name a few -- the need for aid is especially urgent this year. And like they’ve done for generations, kids are stepping up to help other kids. 

“Now more than ever, kids are becoming the driving force of change,” said Caryl M. Stern, CEO and President of UNICEF USA. “It is our duty to encourage their ambitions to become global citizens.” 


What You Can Do:

Have a budding global citizen? Take them Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF.  Just in time for Halloween, you can download a DIY donation box or find a Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF event in your community.

Not trick-or-treating this year? Start your own fundraiser on Crowdrise or donate online