Washington, DC. November 19, 2008. Most kids eagerly anticipate Halloween as an opportunity to collect as much candy as possible for themselves. For the Conquest boys in Northern Virginia, the night had a different significance altogether. Instead of simply gathering candy for themselves, the boys canvassed the neighborhood, gathering canned food items for the poor.
Their Conquest club started participating in Halloween for the Hungry, as it is called, three years ago, and each year they have collected more food. This year, they received over 1,100 pounds of soup, spaghetti, peanut butter, and other food items.
The boys prepared for the apostolate the week in advance by passing out flyers explaining the upcoming food drive. Then on Halloween, they decked themselves out in various costumes and started trick-or-treating for the poor.
“We would knock on the door and when the people would hold out the bowl of candy I would explain, ‘Actually we’re collecting canned goods for the poor; do you have anything that you could donate?’” said Conquest member Blake Allen.
Added participant Daniel Rice, “It wasn’t really that hard to do, and when I saw all the food at the end, it was amazing!”
The boys piled the food into shopping carts that Giant Food loaned to the group for the apostolate. At many houses the residents had prepared a bag or box full of food to give to the boys, so the carts filled up quickly.
Said Matthew Jacobeen, the Conquest team leader and organizer of the apostolate, “I think that people were ready for us when we came knocking. They
remembered us from last year and were very generous with their donations.”
Elliott Dorham, one of the dads who helped with the apostolic project commented, “Halloween for the Hungry 2008 was a great experience for both me and my two sons; it was neat to see how every home we visited was touched by what we were doing, even those that were not prepared for our collection. What made it even better was the fact that instead of being concerned about how much candy.”