HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — A group of friends in our region have an October tradition of helping kids in their community have a Happy Halloween. They call the program ‘Night of the Giving Dead’ collecting money to buy new costumes for hundreds of needy children.

“It is the highlight of the fall for me,” said Falon Tooley. She has been volunteering with the program since it started six years ago.

Her son grew up loving Halloween. Now she wants to help other kids have fun too. “My son is grown now so we don’t get to do dress up or go trick or treating so this is super fun for me,” Tooley said.

The program was started by friends who saw an unmet need in their community. They provide a new costume to kids who may not otherwise have one.

“We also let the kids pick out exactly what they want to be. So they don’t just get whatever is on the rack. They get to chose their own character, their own hero, their own occupation,” said Joe Murphy, organizer.

The group supports four Cabell County schools and one foster agency. Their goal this year is to distribute 200 new costumes.

“I think it is important if you have a little extra just give it to someone else and make their day,” Tooley said. “I mean if you saw the way these kids act when we deliver these costumes. It is special, it really is.”

It is a simple gesture that can make an impact that lasts well beyond Halloween night.

“They take those costumes and they’ll wear them throughout the year and imagine they are a superhero, that superhero they want to see at home in a lot of cases,” Murphy said.

Right now the group is not able to receive donated costumes because of COVID-19 concerns. If you want to help, you can donate $30 to cover the cost of a new costume. You can find the fundraiser here.