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Area family looks to deliver Halloween to region’s kids

Joan and Krystal Degen came up with a modified Halloween idea to ensure kids in Waterloo Region could have a reason to smile. SEAN HEEGER

As worries continue to mount over whether or not holiday events can take place this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, one area family has come up with an idea to keep the Halloween spirit alive.

There are already many ideas that have popped up in Woolwich, Wellesley and the Waterloo Region at large – note the Wellesley & District Lions Club’s trick-or-treat alternative or the Wellesley Spirit Walk – but this one is aimed at bringing safe Halloween fun to your doorstep.

Krystal Degen, organizer of the event, came up with the idea after talking with her aunt, daughter, and sister. She wanted to be able to put a smile on the face of kids in the region because they have experienced so much loss this year thanks to COVID-19.

“We have a big family, so a lot of the kids are old enough to go trick or treating, and their faces basically inspired us to do something as a family. The kids are devastated, they’ve had so much lost in the last year due to COVID between birthdays, maybe sweet-16s, maybe drivers’ licenses, family events, [or even] picnics. It’s time that the community pulls together to help bring back smiles to these kids and let them know that COVID is not the end of everything happening, it’s a pause. So why can’t we bring this back in different ways,” said Degen.

The modified Halloween event sees kids register to have candy delivered to their homes in lieu of the usual trick-or-treat process. Degen says so far more than 600 kids have been signed up and she expects many more before the closure of registration on October 25.

Some 50 volunteers have registered from municipalities across the region, and businesses such as grocery stores have provided supported by donating to the cause, she said.

Degen says the volunteers are the ones helping her to drive this event forward to success, and it would not be possible to work in an area such as Waterloo Region without their support. Because there is so much area to cover, Degen is asking the community to sign up and help deliver from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on October 31. Currently volunteers are needed in the Wellesley and Ayr regions.

For those who are a concered about safety, Degen already has a health plan in place as they prepare the candy to go out at the end of the month.

“[There are] four volunteers that will be packing the bags. They wear gloves and safety masks, the whole area is sanitized. We have the volunteers, that will be knocking on doorsteps for the safety of them as well [they will be] knocking on the doors, leaving the treat from a doorstep and removing themselves to the sidewalk,” she added.

She says all candy will be purchased by them to reduce the risk to the public, noting donations are welcome.

Registration can take place until October 25 by emailing bringbackhalloween2020@gmail.com – Volunteering and donations can also be done through the same email.

Degen said she wants people living in apartments to know that because of COVID-19 restrictions, they are unable to enter the buildings and deliver the candy. They will not be left out, however, because if they register with the address of a friend or family member, the candy will be dropped off to that location instead.

For those who want to donate an Amazon wish list is online or an etransfer can be made to the event email. For more information visit the event Facebook page Halloween 2020 Kitchener Waterloo.

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