Collecting costumes for less fortunate families
Students in the honors program on the Kent State Salem Campus are collecting Halloween costumes as part of Operation Scare, an effort to help area families celebrate the seasonal holiday in more affordable ways.
Justin Ward, a sophomore student majoring in finance on the Salem Campus, is a driving force behind Operation Scare and is busy setting up collection and distribution sites throughout Columbiana County.
Currently, collection sites include the Kent State Salem Campus on St. Route 45; Paradise Sun Tanning Salon and J.C.’s Barber Shop in Wellsville; State Street Tattoo, Salem Community Center and Quaker Village in Salem; and the New Waterford Eagles.
Through Oct. 23, Operation Scare will accept donations of new, gently-used, handmade and/or store-bought costumes of all sizes and styles. Donations can also include makeup, accessories, decorations and cash.
The donated items will be sorted, cleaned and prepared for distribution in time for trick-or-treat nights. Last year, Operation Scare distributed 350 costumes to area families.
“Halloween is supposed to be a fun time for kids, but for some families, it may be hard to find the extra money to buy a costume for each child and it’s just another expense to worry about,” Ward said. “We want to help take away that stress for families.”
Andrew Pfrenger, assistant professor of English on the Salem Campus, is the advisor for the honors program. He learned about Operation Scare because Ward is a student in one of his English classes and thought it would be a good project for the honors program to support.
“Our honor students usually sponsor projects that help families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, so we thought it would be fitting to also support this holiday,” he said.
Ward noted that the costumes are typically for youth under age 18, but consideration is also given for older special needs individuals.
He also explained that this effort really began about eight years ago by J.C. Coulture, owner of J.C.’s Barber Shop in Wellsville, and continues to grow. This year, Operation Scare is getting added support from Dave Grohl, lead singer of the Foo Fighters and former drummer with Nirvana.
Information about this project can be found on Facebook through Operation Scare.
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