Gallery: Sensory-Friendly Trick or Treating Creates Inclusivity

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Trunk or Treat
Photo by Megan Pounder/SaultOnline

Approximately 40 trunks were decked out as the Algoma Autism Foundation and Northwood Funeral Home partnered up again for the fourth annual Trunk or Treat event on Saturday afternoon.

This event, held at Northwood, is a fun, interactive way for children with special needs and their siblings to experience the fun of Trick-or-Treating that is also non-threatening and accessible. Saturday’s event saw around 200 participants.

“Not only Trunk or Treat, but all of the stuff we do is just to give families an opportunity to do things with their children and young adults that they may not otherwise be able to do,” AAF co-founder Jamie Boston told SaultOnline.

“So trick-or-treating on Halloween, you know there’s lots of scary masks and things pop out and all of those sorts of things, accessibility issues with stairs, so we try to remove as many barriers as we can to accommodate families so their families can enjoy the festivities like everybody else.”

Boston said events like this are an important way to “create a sense of community within the special needs community and really give families that opportunity to do what every family should be able to do. And do it in a fun, safe manner.”

“It’s important that all children are able to come out and be able to participate in an event like this,” volunteer Brandi Guay, who’s children participated in this event, said, mirroring Boston’s sentiment.

“It (also) gives parents a chance to meet other families with children on the spectrum as well, it makes you feel as though you’re not as alone as you are, and I feel that it’s important that it brings our community together as well.”

Joan Currie and Terra Seaton, both funeral directors at Northwood, said this event is a way for the funeral home to give back to the community.

“It’s nice to pay it forward,” Currie said. “It’s something we love doing…We just want to give something back because they givie so much to us when we are serving their families.”

“This feels amazing,” Seaton said. “We smile for days, we talk about it for days – it just gives us so much to take from, just to be able to see the kids interacting with each other where they can run free.”

The AAF also took donations of non-perishable items and toiletries that will be sent to the local soup kitchen.