Getting into the Guts of a Spooktacular Halloween

Halloween is a spirited holiday that brings out creativity and imagination in people. For Hillsides’ children living on our campus, certain traditions have become anticipated activities that make Halloween a fun and memorable time.
Pumpkin carving is such a delight for our children, getting their hands into the cavity of the pumpkin and pulling its seeds and guts. Western Asset Management sponsors this annual activity and has eighty pumpkins delivered to our campus, ready to be transformed. Our very own pumpkin patch near the auditorium, the pumpkins are lined up for youthful hands to grasp. This craft is accompanied by the well-known In ‘N’ Out truck.
The next day, volunteer make-up artists from EI School of Professional Makeup in Hollywood apply Halloween makeup on children. Dressed in costumes and sporting ghoulish looks, children trick-or-treat around campus, knocking on staff doors to receive their goodies before entering the magnificently constructed Hillsides’ haunted house. Each year recreation staff, with the help from the teenagers living in Boys Satellite Home and Girls Satellite Home, creates a spectacular and spooky maze that scares each guest as they enter at their own risk. The older youth living at Hillsides create a Halloween carnival for the younger children, dressing up the part, attending booths, and handing out treats for each one to savor.
One special treat was a t-shirt silk screened by Kim Ha, the art director, integrating the art piece that was painted by one of our residents. I’d like to share a collage of photos of these activities.
This particular holiday amazes me because of the collaboration between staff and older youth to create such memorable traditions for the younger children that live at Hillsides. To see the smiles on their faces, each one for different reasons, brings me such joy. I hope it also brings a smile to your face to know that we are able to make these traditions happen with the support of individuals like yourselves who donate Halloween decorations, bags, face paint, candy, and costumes. Thank you for supporting the mission of creating safe places for vulnerable children and families.

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