Trunk or Treat

Palo Alto high school volunteers have come together to organize an event to preserve the spirit of Halloween for children during the pandemic.

Since the pandemic started, we have had to become accustomed to the effects it has had and how we are supposed to interact with each other. It is hard to imagine that there are more changes that we have to get used to, but one of the main changes that we are yet to experience are the new ways to celebrate holidays. 

The holidays are occasions where people are brought together, but this year, we are unable to meet in large groups. Halloween has always been a day where children, young and old, gather and enjoy walking around their neighborhoods, collecting candy. Kids look forward to a day where they can spend time with their friends, coordinating costumes and trading amongst their sweet stashes.

In order to not deprive these children of the special memories that can be made on Halloween, the Gunn High School PTSA, SEC, and YCS-I came together to create an event that could replicate the trick-or-treating that the Palo Alto children are missing out on. Kimberly Eng Lee, the Gunn PTSA President, came up with the idea of a Halloween Trunk-or-Treat and parade drive-thru for elementary school families.

The plan for this Trunk-or-Treat event is to have volunteers decorate the trunk of their cars and have kids go trick-or-treating to each car. The cars will all be socially distanced from each other to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and elementary school families will drive around Gunn campus, looking at the decorated cars. Decorations will also be put up around campus, and the students and their families will be in costume, waving at the passing cars. At the end of the route, the children will receive a goodie bag filled with candy or toys, so that the spirit of Halloween can be sustained.

Photos courtesy of Gunn High School’s YCS-I Instagram

While this event will follow all the guidelines of COVID-19, it was still difficult getting it approved by the school board. Once Santa Clara County moved to tier orange, the event was able to be approved, but since it took so long to do so, the event planning was rushed, as the time frame they had for planning was very short.

Kate Williams, a senior at Gunn and the co-president of YCS-I, helped spearhead the plan, and shared that “Because of the number of people working on the event, it has been easy to spread the work around, so no one has to take it all on. It has been extremely fun to plan and I am very excited to see the Trunk-or-Treat come together.”

This event will be a great substitute to the trick-or-treating that would normally occur during Halloween because kids will be able to experience the best parts of Halloween, including great decorations, creative costumes, and yummy treats, all while staying safe.

The volunteers at Gunn High School have found a great, safe, alternative to trick-or-treating during Halloween, but there are still many events that are being cancelled due to the coronavirus. Events such as volunteering annually at Gamble Gardens in December and the Veteran Affairs Holiday Craft Fair will not be the same as every other year. However, the efforts these volunteers are taking to help preserve the holiday spirits in children are very appreciated.