Living and Giving

Reverse Trick-Or-Treating

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We all know Halloween is around the corner. No, not because of the multi-colored leaves, the smell of firewood, or the calendar on the kitchen fridge, but because every time we walk into the grocery store, our eyes are overwhelmed with visions of fat, round pumpkins, fake spiders and ghosts, and shelves stocked full of Kit-Kats, Snickers, and Swedish Fish. According to the History Channel, this now secular and commercial holiday originated from the ideas of giving to the poor, dressing up in costumes to trick \”ghosts\” who were believed to have come back from the dead, and honoring the deceased. Today, many kids don\’t understand the joy of giving candy and are instead only focused on taking. Somewhere along the way, we have forgotten that the holiday was based on giving to others. We have somehow started to feel entitled to candy! And there\’s nothing wrong with candy. But is there another lesson we can emphasize? This year, UniversalGiving wants you to consider this question:

What would Halloween look like if you gave instead of took?

This question aligns with the new movement called \”Reverse Trick-or-Treating.\” In this article from Disney\’s Babble, the writer explains that this event entails going around from house to house and giving candy to people in the houses instead of taking their candy (see original idea here)UniversalGiving wants to expand on this concept to include other events that save you money and a trip to the dentist for all those candy cavities!

Here is a quick list that we put together to help you get started with ideas:

  1. Give someone a call to ask how they\’re doing
  2. Give advice to a friend in need
  3. Give time volunteering at a soup kitchen or helping to cook a hot meal
  4. Give help to a younger sibling with homework or give them an hour of your time to play their favorite board game
  5. Give a donation all of those clothes that you don\’t wear anymore to GoodWill
  6. Give someone random a high-five, a hug, or a smile


When we use a wider approach to giving and brainstorm all the ways we can give, the list is endless. Instead of a picture of your most creative costume, we challenge you to send us your most creative giving idea for this Halloween season! Remember to tag @UniversalGiving and use the #reversetrickortreating to get your post noticed. Happy Giving!