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 firstname.lastname@example.org.