les tire-lires UNICEF


In an article that appeared in the Thursday September 21st, 2006 edition of La Presse, the decision of UNICEF to discontinue the “tire-lires” fundraising drive that we have come to associate with trick-or-treating is recounted. This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the program which amassed over 91 million dollars (click
for a link to the author’s article).

UNICEF has introduced a new fundraising campaign which gives the children apparently more initiative in choosing their method of supporting the organization (the article doesn’t provide the different options open to the students) and a more concrete model for representing the accumulated funds, i.e. bricks worth $20 to represent the building of a school. Reasons for terminating the program range from security risks voiced by parents and the difficulty in counting and depositing the change.

I don’t think I will be giving out candy this year for Halloween because I live in a basement with an unlit entryway…I don’t see very many parents encouraging their parents to venture down into my grotto (that and I’m a little broke to be buying other people candy). This will be the first year in quite a while that I won’t have been dressed up like a cat on October 31st passing out goodies. I used to collect my pennies for the entire month of October and keep them in a jar by the door to be meted out come trick-or-treating time. Last year, if I remember correctly, I encountered boxes around children’s necks for other foundations, like kystic fibrosis.

I remember one year, when my family was having it particularly hard, I raided my UNICEF box sitting on my bed one morning when I was supposed to be handing it in. The $3.00 this act of theft brought me was dearly bought. I felt bad about it for years everytime I saw one of those orange boxes.

It seems weird, while people are questioning the worth of the UN as a body, that they are shutting down one of the most visible programs associated with an umbrella organization.

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