Kevin McIntosh enjoys showing off the racks of Halloween costumes he’s displaying outside his Calgary townhouse.
“This one is really cool — it’s actually a homemade Ghostbusters costume,” McIntosh said.
It’s something he’s been doing for the past couple of Halloweens: collecting donated costumes to pass on to struggling families.
“If you have something, please come and drop something off,” McIntosh said. “And if you need something, please come and get it.”
He handed out about 200 Halloween costumes last year, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s expecting even more demand this year.
“(People are) losing their jobs,” McIntosh said. “It’s tough, more than ever now.”
Calgary families are also getting a hand from James Stunzi, who’s also rounding up donated costumes to distribute to those in need.
“This year, I’ve had more people say, ‘Hey, do you think you can help us?’” he said. “It’s been tight (with) the pandemic, not a lot of people have money. Like, I had to scrape by for the last couple of months.”
Stunzi is also surprising people by placing donated pumpkins on porches in his neighbourhood.
“My kids and I put battery-powered lights in the pumpkins and we drop them off around the neighbourhood as a bit of fun,” he said. “We call it pumpkin bombing! It’s like decorating the neighbourhood — a little bit of cheer.”
Stunzi also volunteers his talents as a face-painter, helping young neighbours get just the right look for their trick-or-treating.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I just like seeing kids happy and I like seeing Halloween enjoyed the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed.”
Anyone interesting in donating or obtaining costumes can connect with Stunzi and McIntosh on the Facebook page @yychalloweenrepurpose.
“As much as we talk about the new normal, some things should still say stay the same,” McIntosh said. “And as much as I can, I will make this (Halloween) the same for kids and families that need it.”
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