JEFFERSON COUNTY - This Halloween will be full of treats for less fortunate children in Southeast Texas. A LaBelle woman, with the help of friends, will be providing more than 400 free costumes to kids in need.
"It's not just one night anymore," said Treat it Forward organizer, Jenny Wilson. "It's trunk-or-treat, it's Halloween, it's festivals. My kids get to wear them to school."
With all the spook-tacular October events kicking off, Wilson is getting ready to Treat-it-Forward, making sure families on a tight budget can celebrate in style. Over the past year, Wilson along with friends, schools and businesses in the area, have collected Halloween costumes. More than 400 fun outfits will be passed out this weekend to those needing a helping hand this month.
"It's been an eye-opener, I think for me and for a lot of people," said Wilson. "It addresses a need that we didn't realize was there."
It all started last year when Wilson made a Facebook post offering four costumes to a family in need.
"When the kids see their costumes and they hug you and thank you and the moms hug you, it's addictive," said Wilson.
That touching moment, making Halloween a holiday to remember for that family sparked a passion in Wilson to recreate the excitement for hundreds of Southeast Texans.
"Everybody's that's stepped up to help has been so enthusiastic," said Wilson.
Treat it Forward kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Clifton Steamboat Museum on Highway 124. Families receiving a costume will get to enjoy a bounce house, face-painting and interact with Gator Country animals. Kids can also take pictures with a variety of characters like Elsa from Frozen.
"When they walk in and they see [the costumes], it's going to be things they didn't think they were going to get to have," said Wilson.
The organizer says she can't wait to see the joy on the kids faces Saturday, as they pick out the perfect Halloween costume.
It's not too late to donate costumes or Halloween accessories for the event. You can drop off donations at the Clifton Steamboat Museum at 5 p.m. Friday, at Fast Signs in Beaumont, Longhorn Cafe in Hamshire, Broken to Beautiful in Lumberton or you can join the Treat it Forward event page on Facebook and have an organizer pick up your donations. The event is in particular need of boy costumes and outfits for 24 months and under.
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