SALEM, Ohio (WYTV) – As winter approaches, there will be lots of drives taking place to help people in need, including coat drives, food drives and toy drives.
But what about a Halloween costume drive? Two former classmates are doing just that to ensure all kids get to experience the joy of trick-or-treating.
Without a doubt, Halloween is Justin Ward’s favorite holiday. But this year, there has been no pumpkin decorating for Ward because he has been busy with something more important.
“We are going to help people as much as we can,” Ward said.
This year, Ward started Project Scare in Salem. For months now, he has been collecting Halloween costumes.
On Sunday, he will give them out to kids whose parents can’t afford to get them one.
“It just breaks your heart. They don’t realize it. But to see it, it just breaks your heart,” Ward said.
He got the idea for Project Scare last year when some family friends almost missed trick or treat. Then, he remembered his friend JC.
“I called him up. He said ‘not a problem.’ Got them costumes. That just inspired me to start that up where I live. Get the whole county involved in it,” Ward said.
James Coulter has been collecting and giving away costumes for the better part of a decade, including the past five years in Wellsville.
“Clicked one day. I am a barber and I had some kids come in, talk about how they didn’t have any costumes. It was about eight years ago. So I kind of picked up the tab and it went from there,” Coulter said.
Coulter expects about 100 kids to show up for his costume giveaway on Saturday. He said everyone has the chance to help out.
“If you have that neighbor kid and you’re looking at him, just ask him ‘do you have a costume?’,” Coulter said.
Anyone with an old costume they would like to donate can donate to the drive in either Salem or Wellsville.
“I don’t want to break any kids’ heart. So that is why I need more donations. The more we can get, the more people we can help. We don’t want to turn anybody away,” Ward said.
The Wellsville giveaway will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Paradise Sun Tanning on Main Street. Donations will be accepted at JC’s Wellsville Barbershop on Main Street until then.
The Salem giveaway will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Elks Club. Donations can be dropped off at the Salem News or State Street Tattoo.