Six years ago, Ahwatukee resident Sabrina Ramirez decided to give back to the less fortunate during Halloween by donating used costumes for families who are unable to afford them.
The costumes were donated to the children of St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room, where each child was able to pick out his or her own favorite costume.
Costume for Kids, which is what Ramirez calls the event, showed much success throughout the years and Ramirez felt she was doing something that was much bigger than herself.
However, while she continued on with Costume for Kids Ramirez was battling through being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disorder that she continues to fight to this day.
Her fight and determination for continuing the yearly tradition seemed to be at a standstill due to her declining health situation, and receiving chemotherapy three days a week.
“It really puts me down physically and emotionally it’s very tough, so I really didn’t have the strength to do it this year at all,” Ramirez said. She was nearly about to hang it up, but when representatives at St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room heard the news they decided to help.
Also, the children who received costumes in the past sent cards to Ramirez thanking her for the work she had done over the years, and saying she’s in their prayers.
Ramirez said after receiving the cards and the assistance for Costume for Kids 2013; she knew this was something she had to continue with, despite her health being on the decline.
Along with the help from St. Vincent Paul Dining Room, Ramirez received a charitable donation from Party City, who donated enough costumes to completely fill her garage room.
“It matched what it would have taken me a year to collect,” she said.
Working directly with Cynthia Bach, supervisor at St. Vincent Paul Dining Room, Bach informed Ramirez she did not have to lift a finger this year, and they were there to help with anything.
“She said, ‘You tell us what to do, we will come to you’” and they did,” Ramirez said. “They came to me two weeks ago with one of their big donation trucks and picked up all the costumes I collected this far, and took them to their Dream Center.”
Bach also informed Ramirez that during the Costume for Kids, on Oct. 23 at St. Vicente de Paul’s Dream Center, she doesn’t have to be running up and down getting everything situated, but can relax on a La-Z-Boy throughout the event.
However, Ramirez said knowing herself she won’t be able to be on the sidelines and will be helping out as much as she can.
Mountain Pointe High School Theatre members will also be lending a helping hand as personal shoppers for each child to pick their costume.
“I’ve questioned my mortality many times, but I have to keep plugging away and there are things like Costume for Kids that give me hope,” Ramirez said.
Community members interested in making costume donations can drop them off at:
• Woolaver Orthodontics, 4425 E. Agave Road, Suite 126
• Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 3550 E. Knox Road
• Ahwatukee Community Center, 4700 E. Road
• The Agency-Arizona, 7014 E. Camelback Road, Suite 2139
Donations will be accepted through Nov. 1 to head start next year’s Costume for Kids.
For more information, contact Ramirez at (480) 612-3139.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.