Along with the usual assortment of ghosts and goblins – well, throw in Spider-Man, Lady Gaga and the Biebs – who’ll show up at your door Wednesday night, there’ll be a group looking for something more substantial than sugary sweets.
Continuing a Woolwich tradition, young volunteers with Citizens Always Need Supper (CANS) will be collecting non-perishable items for the food bank.
“I think Halloween is very centered on yourself: you’re going door to door collecting candy for yourself. [This] is an awesome way to do something for other people instead of focusing on yourself,” said Will Allen, 14, one of this year’s organizers.
For a number of years, local youths who may have outgrown trick-or-treating have been coming together and spending Halloween collecting items for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
Though Allen said some locals were distrustful of the group in early years, he hopes the difference they make has warmed people up to their cause, with CANS volunteers encouraged to be as friendly and informative as possible when they knock on people’s doors.
For Allen, the CANS Halloween event is a labour of love, one that started when he was in Grade 6. Other older young people have also seen the appeal of the good works, however, and hope to continue the tradition that began a decade ago.
More than 100 youths scoured the streets for charitable donations last year, and the young organizer hopes to match those numbers this year as well.
“We felt that it was important that everyone have food and we wanted to show love to them,” he said of CANS efforts in the past.
After a night of gathering, volunteers will drop off their booty to the Woodside Bible Fellowship at 200 Barnswallow Dr. for pick up by the food bank.
CANS volunteers are not the only ones gathering for the needy in October. Rural library branches have been doing some trading of their own, waving library fines for food donations during Ontario Public Library Week. Last week local librarians managed to collect 210 food items for the bank. Donors with outstanding fines traded their non-perishables for a load off their debt with one food item eliminating $2 worth of fines each.