Drive seeks Halloween costumesWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
On Halloween, kids can be anything from Spider-Man to a witch to the Little Mermaid. But not all families can afford to give their kids the chance to dress up as their heroes — which is why Gina Fielding organized Andrew Z’s Costume Giveaway.
“[Halloween is] basically a fantasy night for kids. They get to be whatever they want; they get free candy; they get to walk around after dark,” said Fielding, social media director for “Andrew Z in the Morning” and Toledo Free Press.
People can drop off costumes at one of five locations or call Fielding at (567) 694-8204 to arrange a pickup. During business hours, drop-off locations include TFP, 605 Monroe St., Toledo; Cumulus Studios, 3225 Arlington Ave., Toledo; Lucky Diamonds, 2007 N. Holland-Sylvania Ave., Toledo; Yeeha’s Buckin’ Bar and Grill, 3150 Navarre Ave., Oregon; and Halloween Express, 3448 W. Sylvania Ave., Toledo. At Halloween Express, anyone who donates a kid’s costume can receive 15 percent off their purchases. All donated costumes will be sterilized.
The giveaway is set for 4-6 p.m. Oct 19 at the United Way of Greater Toledo building at 424 Jackson St., Downtown. There will be free pumpkins and face painting.
Fielding decided to organize a giveaway after she realized she had old costumes from her own kids lying around. “I called Andrew and said, ‘Let’s do something for Halloween,’” she said. “It’s a way to ease parents’ mind with the economy.”
She also pointed out that most costumes should be in good shape because they are usually only worn for a couple of hours.
After getting the radio personality involved, Fielding hit the Web to gather costumes and support.
“So many people are just like, ‘Yes!’ We ended up with a great response,” Fielding said. Still, if Fielding hopes to reach her goal of 100 costumes, more donations are needed.
Fielding was also inspired to organize the drive because of her own experiences.
“A few years back, I had some serious financial problems. I was on the receiving end of a lot of the charity and I believe in giving back,” she said.
In the neighborhood she was living in, “A lot of kids would come to the door in nothing but daddy’s basketball jersey and mommy’s eyeshadow under their eyes or no costume at all,” Fielding said, adding that in the choice between groceries and a costume, food wins. Even homemade costumes cost something, she added.
Fielding also said that not being able to afford a costume is probably harder on the parents than the children.
“It hurts. It’s very painful to not be able to do something as seemingly simple as a Halloween costume,” Fielding said.