This Halloween, several members of the DePaul track team participated in "Trick-Or-Treating with Refugees," an event put on by the nonprofit refugee and immigrant services organization, RefugeeOne. Drew Edwards, a junior on the track and field squad and the team's Captain's Council representative, recapped the experience below.
The event was called "Trick-Or-Treating with Refugees," which is put on each year by RefugeeOne. The experience is oriented towards giving recently resettled (within one-to-three years) refugees an opportunity to take part in the marquee event of many Americans' childhoods in trick-or-treating.
For most of the kids, though, the concept is entirely foreign. Over 80 kids showed up and used donated costumes to put together something spooky, funny, or heroic to wear for the evening. The volunteers, whom we made up about half of, helped in every step along the way and each took between four and five kids through the neighborhood off of the Berwyn CTA Red Line stop for about 90 minutes.
I think our group had a great experience. Aside from the laughs of helping put together costumes and the blessings of working with kids anytime, explaining the concept--walking up to a strangers door, saying "trick-or-treat?", receiving candy, and then saying "thank you" and moving on--is one of the greatest things in the world. Hearing a kid say "I have too much candy, can we go back now?" is a concept foreign to each of us [volunteers] and was humbling for our team.
Seeing the joy in each kid's face of experiencing their first Halloween was truly something our group enjoyed. It had us swapping stories the entire 'L' ride home and into the next day at practice.More information on RefugeeOne can be found at www.refugeeone.org.