With Halloween approaching, many children are getting ready to dress up and fill their bags with candy. In Germantown, many churches and community centers are also starting to prepare for Halloween events designed to keep the children off the street.
“It’s not like when we were growing up,” said Amber Knight, who is helping to prepare a Halloween event at the Holy Temple of Deliverance located at 126 W. Seymour St. “There are a lot more activities on the street now as far as being drug-related and shootings for no reason.”
While some children will still get decked out to go door-to-door, many parents plan on sending their children to community-based Halloween activities instead.
“We have a little party for them. There’s games and food,” Knight said. She expects between 30 and 40 children to show up at the church on Halloween night.
With the help of other community members, Knight will decorate the church with balloons, black and orange tablecloths and bowls full of candy.
“We invite everyone in the community to come out because not a lot of parents go out anymore,” Knight said. She’ll be arriving with her four-year-old and six-year-old sons who have yet to decide on their costumes. Last year, the two went as the blue Power Ranger and Spiderman.
Numerous churches and community centers in the area also offer alternative trick-or-treat activities. At Faith Chapel of Philadelphia on the Corner of Price and Lena streets, most of the children come dressed up as bible characters for a night of food and fun.
“We want to go for safety so we try to make it more interesting here,” said Linda Brew, the program organizer at Faith Chapel of Philadelphia. “We’ve got everything in one place, so they don’t have to run around on the streets.”
The church sends the children home with a bag of candy so that they don’t feel like they’re missing out on trick-or-treating.
“Before the whole neighborhood went out, but now parents don’t want to take their kids out and they just buy them candy,” Knight said. “We plan this event so that kids don’t feel like they never had a Halloween.”
Hattie Cheek and Grace Dickinson are Temple University students. Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a NewsWorks content partner, is an initiative of the Temple Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.