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When you were a kid, did you ever Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF with the iconic orange box? That tradition started in 1950 when Mary Emma Allison, a school librarian, saw a UNICEF booth in a department store while shopping for winter coats for her children. The booth inspired an idea and Mary Emma drafted her three children into service going door-to-door collecting coins that Halloween.

"We were real little, and my mother was behind us, and we were trying to explain it, and there were these memories of terror, actually," said daughter Mary Jean Thomson. "But people are generous. We got money and candy, so my parents knew it was a go." [source]

The first year they collected $17 which they donated to UNICEF to help children in postwar Europe. What started as a family activity spread to the local community and in 1953, the U.S. Committee for UNICEF took the campaign national. By 2010, the year of Mary Emma's death, the campaign had raised $160 million.

"If you tell children how much power they have — a dime can buy 50 glasses of milk — that's really kind of powerful," Thomson said.

Photo: U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Flickr photostream: Historical Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

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b2ap3_thumbnail_AFP.gifI once received a bad performance review. (I Know! So hard to believe!) Even though all of our fundraising goals were met or exceeded, my boss wasn’t happy with me because I am, apparently, stubborn. I asked what specific instances made her feel that way.

Well, there’s that time I refused to give a tax receipt to a board member for something that was not an allowable tax deduction. And then there’s that time I spoke up when she wanted to use some restricted grant funds for overhead costs. I had mentioned the Code of Ethics and, you know, federal law, as impediments to doing as she wished and now she’d been waiting all year to let me have it.

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This November I'll be hosting a roundtable session (along with Katy Malone, outreach and education manager, Zuckerman Museum of Art) on creative visitor engagement at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference.


National Arts Marketing Conference Project

Roundtable: Creative Visitor Engagement Strategies You Can Do Right Now

with Ann-Laura Parks, CFRE & Katy Malone, Zuckerman Museum of Art

Sunday, November 9, 2014 | 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.



If you work in the arts, I cannot recommend this conference enough - it's simply one of the best professional development opportunities you'll find in the U.S.

Registration is open now >


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