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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.
For the past five years, Sabrina Ramirez has collected hundreds of Halloween costumes for kids around the Valley.
Sabrina Ramirez helps a girl pick out a Halloween costume during last year’s costume drive at St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix.
The Fifth Annual Costume Drive, which benefits the "working poor" at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room in downtown Phoenix, will take place beginning Monday, Oct. 3 through Tuesday, Nov. 1. at the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center, 4700 E. Warner Road. The costume drive will benefit less fortunate children so they can dress up for Halloween.
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 email@example.com.
Sofia Reyes a fifth grader from Las Lomas Elementary along with her mom Sabrina Ramirez organize some the Halloween costumes they got for under privilege kids at the St. Vincent de Paul's in Phoenix.
Sofia Reyes a fifth grader from Las Lomas Elementary along with her mom Sabrina Ramirez show Victoria Ortega, 7, some Halloween costumes they got for kids at the St. Vincent de Paul's in Phoenix.
Sofia Reyes a fifth grader from Las Lomas Elementary along with her mom Sabrina Ramirez hand up some the Halloween costumes they got for underprivileged kids at the St. Vincent de Paul's in Phoenix.