Many of you know 10/31 Consortium as the organization that plans the Baton Rouge Halloween Parade and many other fun events on the Fifolet Halloween Festival schedule. However, few realize these Halloween enthusiasts are also a creative community-minded 501c3 nonprofit. The mission of the organization is to give every child in our area a safe and happy Halloween. This sounds simple enough but the reality is a complex network of giving built on a foundation of love for the City of Baton Rouge, its children, and of course, Halloween. (Read more on their Goals and Objectives HERE.)
Kids’ Court Youth Leadership and Volunteer Program
Earlier this year, 10/31 Consortium announced a new program for children: The Kids’ Court Youth Leadership and Volunteer Program. This program, for children age 6 to senior in high school, teaches valuable lessons in organization, compassion and public speaking. Participating children are also the selection pool to receive the honors of Baton Rouge Halloween Parade Royalty.
The program has 2 components: Service Work and Royal Titles.
Children in the Service Work phase of the program manage 10/31 Consortium’s Costume and Candy Drive by decorating and delivering donation bins to drop off locations, collecting donations, and then sorting and matching donations to children in need. They also manage and staff the Costume Giveaway Day which puts costumes directly into the hands of children who need them. The Service Work phase runs from mid-August to mid-October. Applications for Service Work may be submitted at any time. Only children who have fully completed Service Work in the year prior will be eligible for Royal Titles, like Prince or Princess of the Halloween Parade. Note that it is stated on the website, “Considering the newness of the program, there may be some overlap in Service Work and Royal Titles during the first few years until the application pool increases.”
Raising Compassionate Leaders
There are many program benefits listed on the website:
Lessons in Organization – Managing the Costume and Candy Drive teaches children time management and responsibility. They must decorate and deliver donation bins within a certain time-frame, follow up with the donation location, and sort through the hundreds of donated costumes to match them to beneficiaries. Natural leaders will flourish in this process and those needing to hone these skills gain valuable experience.
Lessons in Compassion – Staffing the Costume Giveaway Day is an experience they will never forget. Families from all over the Baton Rouge area (and even as far away as New Orleans) line up to “shop” the free costume selection. Your children will assist, serve and help children in need find the costume they have always wanted. The feeling of giving those smiles and the simple joy of a Halloween costume to a child who might not otherwise have it is a beautiful experience.
Lessons in Public Speaking – Children awarded with Royal Titles will have opportunities to represent the Kids’ Court Program at various community events. They will speak in front of a crowd and possibly in front of a camera. While these opportunities are generally reserved for the Prince and Princess, Pages may attend and assist as well. This is a lesson that will serve them well in adulthood.
Notoriety – Children awarded with Royal Titles will have may have their names and photographs appear in local publications. They will also have their names and photographs listed on the 10/31 Consortium website and on the 10/31 Consortium and Fifolet Halloween Festival social media profiles. The Prince and Princess will also have their picture on the Party Time Kids’ Court Float in the Baton Rouge Halloween Parade.
Coronation – Children awarded Royal Titles will receive a crown or pin and a sash at their official Royal Coronation as part of the Black and Orange Bash in late April.
You can read more about the program fees, which are unusually affordable for a parade royalty program, and rules HERE.
Costume Giveaway Day
According to Coupon Cabin, the average cost of a Halloween costume is $45. While certainly worth the expense, especially to Halloween fanatics like those in Friends of 10/31 Consortium, it is an impossible expense for many families, particularly those with multiple children. At 10/31 Consortium’s last Costume Giveaway Day, families came from as far away as New Orleans and stood in line for hours to “shop” the free costume selection.
This year’s Costume Giveaway Day is scheduled for Sunday, October 14 from 12 p.m. to 4:00pm at the North Sherwood Forest Community Park in Baton Rouge. Anyone interested in volunteering for the day or having their children participate in the Kids’ Court Youth Leadership and Volunteer Program should email info@1031Consortium.com.
Follow 10/31 Consortium on Facebook HERE.
Follow 10/31 Consortium on Instagram HERE.
Follow the Fifolet Halloween Festival on Facebook HERE.
Follow the Fifolet Halloween Festival on Instagram HERE.