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United Way of Broome County holds Halloween costume drive

(WBNG) — The United Way of Broome County is partnering up with the Vestal Rotary Club for a costume drive and autumn celebration, just ahead of Halloween.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring the community together and celebrate autumn and have a little bit of fun,” said United Way Director of Operations and Development Lori Welch.

Now through October 1, you can donate new or gently-used costumes to the United Way offices on Jensen Road.

Then on October 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. families will have the opportunity to come out and pick up costumes at no cost.

“It’s almost set up like a retail outlet. The children come in and they can kind of shop and browse and try on costumes if they need to,” said Welch. “We always display the costumes on hangers at their eye level. So they’re in charge.”

More than 150 costumes have already been collected, but the United Way hopes that number will continue to grow.

“We want to provide an opportunity for children to really have choices. What’s more fun than choosing a Halloween costume? So we want them to be able to have the opportunity to see what we have an really make a decision,” said Welch.

With Halloween costumes being so expensive, this is a way to help out some community members in need.

“It’s just a great opportunity to overcome a barrier that shouldn’t be in place for a child, to enjoy Halloween just like everyone else,” said Welch.

In the case there are some leftovers after the giveaway, they will be put to good use.

“We’ve had a few costumes, peppered through the various sizes, and we usually take those to our community partners who can ensure they get into the hands of children who will use and appreciate them,” said Welch.

Families who attend the autumn celebration and pick up a costume, will also be able to pick a pumpkin on their way out.

It’s encouraged to arrive earlier in the day, because the costumes will go on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Families are asked to only take one costume per child.

Annie Flaherty

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