The restrictions may have eased since the pandemic put a real damper on last Halloween, but precautions are still in place. That being the case, the Wellesley and District Lions Club is again offering up an alternative to the traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.
Presented as Halloween with a twist, the idea was created as a way for vulnerable residents to still take part in the festivities.
With little witches and wizards likely to fill the streets this Halloween as per usual, the club is providing an option for those worried about handing out candy at the door or not yet comfortable with going to a slew of housing. Instead, Lions are arranging to have central pick-up spots at half a dozen locations.
Julie Logan is a Wellesley Lions Club member and the lead for the Halloween initiative.
“We did it last year in response to COVID. I think last year that the biggest concern was that parents didn’t want their kids going door-to-door, people were more hesitant about the candy being contaminated or touched by other people. So last year, what we did was we had a huge donation prior to Halloween, and I collected it all at my house. We made 2,000 bags of candy out of all the candy that was donated – any cash donations given I went out and bought candy to fill in what we needed to make 2,000 bags – and then we had stations set up all over,” she explained.
This year Logan and her team won’t be bagging the candy, as COVID restrictions have lifted.
“I think because the focus has changed with COVID. People are a little bit more comfortable knowing what they’re comfortable with, the kids are getting better at distancing themselves and knowing what’s safe and what’s not. We’re not trying to discourage kids from going door-to-door, but we are recognizing that people might not feel comfortable having kids come to their door – some of them are vulnerable,” said Logan.
“What we’re doing for them instead is giving them an option to drop off what they would typically give out if they did have kids coming to their door. They drop it off directly at one of the stations – there’s one station per neighbourhood in Wellesley, so we’ve got six houses that have volunteered to sort of be the Lions-represented station within each neighbourhood. If there are parents who are hesitant to send their kids out, they could go to that one station.”
Each one of the six stations will be following COVID safety regulations to keep the risk low, with Logan noting the idea is not to discourage anyone from Halloween but rather give vulnerable residents or parents the ability to take part in the trick-or-treating.
“We had so many positive comments from last year. In fact, people from last year we’re asking if we could do the same thing again this year. I think one of the biggest things that I noticed driving around the entire night, making sure that all the stations were stocked with the bags of candy, I could see people were out walking around as families, as opposed to big groups of kids or whatever, and I think a lot of that was that the parents could get involved; they didn’t have to stay home and hand out candy, they could actually go out and enjoy the night too.”
Anyone looking to donate money can drop off to Logan in Wellesley (1039 Molesworth St.) or by getting in touch with any Lions Club member. The six porches available for candy drop-offs are listed on the Wellesley and District Lions Club’s Facebook page.