Step by step: How to obtain Halloween costumes at no charge for your kids

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Every Halloween, the spirit of trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes fills the air with excitement. However, not all children have the same opportunities to enjoy this festive holiday. Fortunately, numerous organizations and churches offer assistance. One great example is WEEN DREAM, a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that has been making a significant impact by providing free Halloween costumes to children in need. This article will guide you through how your child can obtain a free costume.

Next, we will answer the following questions:

  1. What is WEEN DREAM, and what is its mission?
  2. Who is eligible to receive free Halloween costumes?
  3. What types of costumes are provided through this program?
  4. Where should I submit my application?
  5. Can you walk me through the application process?
  6. Are there other options or resources available for obtaining a free Halloween costume?

What is WEEN DREAM, and what is its mission?

WEEN DREAM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that children and families from underserved communities can fully participate in the joy of Halloween. Their mission is to provide free costumes to those who may not have the means to purchase them.

Who is eligible to receive free Halloween costumes?

According to their website, they accept applications for free costumes from families in need anywhere in the United States. Examples of children “in need” include those living in poverty, children with serious medical issues, special needs, mental or physical disabilities, and children who have recently experienced a traumatic event (such as a natural disaster).

What types of costumes are provided through this program?

WEEN DREAM, an all-volunteer organization, primarily relies on costume donations nationwide. Here’s a breakdown of items they welcome and those they don’t:

Items they accept or distribute:

  • New, unworn costumes
  • Washed, gently used costumes
  • Adaptive costumes
  • Handmade costumes
  • Dance recital costumes
  • Trick-or-treat bags and buckets
  • Unopened makeup sets
  • Accessories such as masks, wands, capes, tutus, wings, etc.
  • New, unused wigs
  • Shoes (only when part of a complete costume)

Items they do not accept or distribute:

  • Unwashed or dirty costumes
  • Incomplete costumes missing essential parts
  • Costumes with holes, stains, rips, or tears
  • Used wigs and makeup
  • Single shoes, gloves, or accessories (should be in pairs)
  • Culturally appropriated costumes
  • Costumes with adult themes
  • Everyday streetwear

Can you walk me through the application process?

To complete the ‘WEEN DREAM application, please follow this step-by-step guide, and you can access the application HERE.

Page one: Provide a valid email address.

Page two: Fill in your name, address, city, state, zip code, and phone number.

Page three: Indicate the number of children you are requesting costumes for. A team member will contact you for additional information if it’s four or more children. It will also ask if you’ve received a Halloween costume from ‘WEEN DREAM before and your relationship to the child(ren) you’re requesting costumes for.

Page four: Choose the option that best describes your family’s needs:

  • Your family is financially unable to purchase costume(s)
  • Your family is seeking costume(s) for a child(ren) with special needs, physical disability, or mental disability.
  • Family is seeking costume(s) for a child(ren) with a severe or life-threatening illness, disease, or injury.
  • The family has experienced a recent trauma or natural disaster that substantially impacts the family’s ability to purchase costume(s) (including the death of a sibling/parent, house fire, hurricane, parent with cancer, and more).
  • Other (please explain)

Page five: Please check all boxes on this waiver to receive a costume. Type your first and last name as an electronic signature to confirm your understanding. For questions, email before proceeding.

Page six: Fill in the required information about your first child, including their name, gender, age, and size. You can also request a specific costume character (e.g., Batman, Elsa, Elmo) and provide a general costume choice (e.g., princess, scary, animal, superhero).

If your child requires an adaptive costume (specially designed to accommodate physical or mobility challenges) or needs a brand-new one for medical reasons, please specify here. Feel free to share any additional details that will assist us in finding the best costume and ensuring the size and fit.

Page seven: Skip this step if you don’t have another child requesting a costume.

Page eight: Skip this step if you don’t have another child requesting a costume.

Page nine: ‘WEEN DREAM primarily offers gently-used, cleaned costumes donated by previous owners. Understand that they can’t guarantee costumes for every child. By checking the box, you agree to this policy.

Page ten: End of the application.

Costume applications will close on Friday, October 13th, and no applications will be accepted beyond this date.

I missed the deadline. What other resources are available to get a free Halloween costume?

If you’ve missed the ‘WEEN DREAM deadline or are looking for alternative resources to get a free Halloween costume, there are several options you can explore:

  • Local charities and nonprofits: Check with local charities, nonprofit organizations, or community centers in your area. Some may host costume drives or events to provide free costumes to families in need.
  • Schools and churches: Contact your child’s school or local churches. They sometimes organize costume exchanges or giveaways as part of their community outreach programs.
  • Online costume swaps: Look for online platforms or social media groups where people in your community may be offering free costumes. Websites like Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace, or Nextdoor can be good starting places.
  • DIY costumes: Get creative and make your costumes! You can use household items and craft supplies to create unique and personalized costumes without spending much.
  • Library events: Some libraries organize Halloween-themed events and may offer free costumes for costume-making workshops.
  • Thrift stores and consignment shops: Visit thrift stores or consignment shops in your area. They often have affordable, gently used costumes available.

Mitzi Colin Lopez is a Digital Ads Content Creator and Experimenter at Noticias Para Inmigrantes. Her origin as a Mexican immigrant characterizes and drives her to empower the Latinx, Hispanic and immigrant communities. She is a recent graduate of West Chester University, where she obtained her bachelor’s in Political Science and Spanish. Her passions include social justice, advocacy, hiking, traveling, and weightlifting.