This Halloween 10-year-old Sofia Reyes decided she wanted to do something different. The fifth-grader at Kyrene de las Lomas Elementary School will dress up as a princess Wednesday and, because of her, about 25 less fortunate children will be able to dress up as well. Reyes collected "gently-used" costumes from her peers at Lomas, neighbors, friends and local organizations and passed them out to children at Saint Vincent de Paul in Phoenix during dinner service Oct. 26 and 29. "My mom works with abused kids and also delivers food boxes," Reyes said. "Last year we started thinking about donating Halloween costumes with my school, Kyrene de las Lomas, but we forgot. We remembered this year." Reyes and her mother, Sabrina Ramirez, a social worker, organized about 25 costumes on a rack before dinner service Friday afternoon. Children sifted through an array of costumes after their meal, including pumpkins, surgeons, baseball players, Spider-Man, angels, rock stars and firefighters. "It just wouldn't seem fair if someone gets to dress up for Halloween and someone else doesn't," Reyes said. "It just makes them feel left out." Reyes made an announcement over her school's loudspeaker on the morning of Oct. 24. Her best friend, Jamie Hoops, was the first to donate her used witch costume. Advocates for Kids also donated $250, enabling Reyes to purchase new costumes to hand out as well. "Sofia is used to seeing mom do volunteer work a lot," Ramirez said. "Everything started in our garage, so we're single-handedly pulling it off." Reyes and Ramirez plan on collecting used costumes and donating them yearly. They also wish to have more people in the neighborhood involved in the cause next year. "Everyone's really big on Christmas, but you don't see a lot of people that care about Halloween," Ramirez said. "A lot of these costumes were $13, and that is a hardship for lots of families." Corinne Frayer can be reached at (480) 898-7917 or

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