This past weekend, we held an event here at the Center for families in our community to celebrate Halloween in a safe and fun way. The intention for this event was to provide a space for kids who, due to COVID response guidelines, were unable to celebrate the holiday in traditional ways such as costume parties and trick-or-treating.
The event was set up carnival-style in which tickets would be exchanged for participation in activities. Attendees could get tickets by making a donation to the San José Peace and Justice Center or by providing food and supplies to the Peace Pantry.
Activities included painting pumpkins, applying fake Halloween tattoos, posing at a photo booth, coloring Halloween designs, guessing the amount of candies in a jar, and – of course – eating sweets! A local Trader Joe’s store generously donated the pumpkins to our event – thank you to Store #63 on Almaden Expressway!
Attendees signed up for a one-hour time slot, and within each time slot capacity was limited to ensure that there was plenty of distance between groups. Everyone at the event wore masks, and hand sanitizer was provided for all.
While this event started off as a community care response to COVID, I think that this “Haunted” House should become an annual event at the Center to offer kids a safe way to celebrate with their families that goes beyond collecting candy.
Special shout out to Karla, our SJSU intern, for planning and coordinating the event, and to our volunteers Maya and Socoro for showing up and assisting!