Digital Trick-Or-Treat: UNICEF

Trick-or-treaters armed with orange UNICEF boxes once were the precursor to the holiday giving season. Yet, I haven’t seen many kids working to support UNICEF in my neighborhood lately. Have you?

I’ve heard that there’s a decline in this tradition nationwide, although I’m not sure of the latest numbers. I wonder whether folks are less likely to give money to strangers – is UNICEF a victim of the trend toward bowling alone? Or, perhaps people are just more likely to engage in other ways. After all, this year UNICEF allows you to trick-or-treat , via mobile phone, and on myspace and Facebook where 2,497 members have given $634 so far. You also can send a Halloween e-card.

Does e-engagement make up for a decline in real-world involvement by the next generation? Or, is it just as – if not more – meaningful and effective?

Of course, I should note that UNICEF is offering a range of options for engagement, from a family activity calendar for parents (which seems a tad short on activities, but may be effective in raising awareness) to what appear to be outstanding and extremely thoughtful lesson plans for teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels on five issues including disaster relief, water and the root causes of exclusion. There also are links to games, brochures and online activities. Yet, all that e-content raises a question: should we, as parents and educators, encourage one form of involvement over another – and why?

What will you be doing this Halloween? Our family will be raising money for UNICEF...the old-fashioned way.

-Talya Bosch, Former Account Director, Cause Branding


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