What does 'WEEN DREAM do, exactly?
We give free Halloween costumes to children in need.
'WEEN DREAM collects donated costumes (both new and gently used) throughout the year. In August, we start reviewing ‘WEENSTER applications from families and schools/groups with kids in need across America. We try to match ‘WEENSTERS with costumes we already have. If we don’t have a donated costume for a child, or if a child needs a new costume for medical reasons, we add him or her to our "Pumpkin Patch" so that someone will (hopefully) purchase the particular costume needed for that child.
Where is 'WEEN DREAM located?
Our costume headquarters is located at:
3001 River Rd.
Jefferson, LA 70121
'WEEN DREAM started in New Orleans and is headquartered there, but it is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose donors and supporters are located across America. 'WEEN DREAM has received costume and money donations most states. We also receive costume applications from families across the country, and in 2015 we gave costumes to kids in 24 states. We help as many kids as we can each year regardless of where they live.
'WEEN DREAM was founded with the intention of promoting costume donation across America; it makes the most sense to keep donated costumes in their local area instead of shipping them to kids in need elsewhere. We hope to continue working with the public to encourage costume donation programs all over the country.
Who does 'WEEN DREAM help?
'WEEN DREAM accepts applications for free costumes from families in need anywhere in America. Through used and new costume donations and the Pumpkin Patch, 'WEEN DREAM provides costumes to as many applicants as possible each Halloween.
Examples of children "in need" include those living in poverty, children with serious medical issues, children with special needs, children with mental and/or physical disabilities, and children who have recently experienced a traumatic event (such as a natural disaster).
For Halloween 2015, 'WEEN DREAM gave costumes to approximately 1,200 children in 24 states, which is more than double what we did in 2014. We hope to continue growing this number every year.
How do I donate a costume?
You can donate costumes from anywhere in America by shipping them to the 'WEEN DREAM Costume Headquarters in New Orleans.
How do I donate money, and are donations tax exempt?
You can donate online through PayPal or mail a check payable to 'WEEN DREAM to: 'WEEN DREAM, c/o American Legion Post 267, 3001 River Rd., Jefferson, LA 70121
'WEEN DREAM is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity. Our recognition letter is provided on our Contact page, along with other documents reflecting our nonprofit's commitment to using donations in the manner that best accomplishes our mission. Please consult a tax professional with questions about tax exempt donations.
If you would like a receipt for your donation to 'WEEN DREAM, please include either a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your donation or your email address and make a note that you would like a receipt. For receipt questions, please email email@example.com.
For tax purposes, a costume donation is valued at $15 for a complete costume in "gently used" or new condition.
I don't have any used costumes, how else can I help?
Lots of ways! Most importantly, 'WEEN DREAM relies on public donations to pay for our rental space, insurance, costume supplies, website, and costumes themselves. We have no paid employees, so your donation goes entirely to 'WEEN DREAM operations.
You can also like/follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, volunteer your office as a costume drop location, pick a ‘WEENSTER from our Pumpkin Patch and sponsor his or her costume, display ‘WEEN DREAM brochures at your office during October, or help collect or distribute costumes.
One thing you can do right now: please invite your friends to "like" our Facebook page so we can help spread the word about costume donation!
What is the 'WEEN DREAM "Pumpkin Patch" program?
'WEEN DREAM believes it's important to "recycle" gently used Halloween costumes by giving them to kids in need. However, we realize that some kids need new costumes for medical reasons (such as kids with weakened immune systems, respiratory issues, or kids with physical disabilities that affect their ability to wear certain clothing items). Also, there are some kids in our program for whom we simply don't have a good gently used costume match. That's where Pumpkin Patch comes in!
All of our 'WEENSTERS who need a new costume are added to our Pumpkin Patch program in the hopes that someone will sponsor that child by purchasing a new costume for him or her.
You or your business can be a Pumpkin Patch sponsor from anywhere in America next Halloween, and you can sponsor one or several kids. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
How can I apply to get a free 'WEEN DREAM costume for my child?
The application period for Halloween 2017 closed on September 6, 2017. Keep reading for information on how to apply for a costume for next Halloween.
Each year, we open the costume application process in late summer and keep it open through Labor Day. For families, applications are located on our website and must be submitted electronically.
For groups/teachers seeking costumes for multiple children, contact email@example.com in June 2018 to begin the application process, which closes in mid-August. As with all applications, we cannot guarantee acceptance into the program, and we cannot guarantee your groups will receive any costumes or the particular costumes requested. Please note that, as an all-volunteer nonprofit with a micro-budget, we are unable to consider late group costume requests.
Late family requests (for the child(ren) in a single family) are considered on a case-by-case basis and only for children whose families were unable to apply by the deadline due to any natural disaster or other major event (such as a fire, job loss, illness, or family tragedy that occurred after Labor Day). If you were unable to apply for a costume before the deadline and you believe you qualify to file a late application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with an explanation of your situation. As with all applications, we cannot guarantee acceptance into the program, and we cannot guarantee you will receive a costume or any particular costume. We are limited by what is donated to us each year.
What does ‘WEEN DREAM do with costumes that aren’t matched to a child?
We have few leftover costumes by mid-October when we are distributing matched costumes. Costumes donated after distribution through the post-Halloween season are processed and stored at our costume headquarters in New Orleans for use next Halloween.
How did 'WEEN DREAM get started?
In 2012, 'WEEN DREAM founder, Kelsey Meeks, began a costume donation program benefiting the children in programs at Youth Empowerment Project of New Orleans (YEP*), which annually serves more than 1,000 at-risk New Orleans youth who live at or below poverty level. After two years, she began receiving more costume donations than there were children to give them to. After Halloween 2013, Kelsey started the process of creating 'WEEN DREAM in order to help more kids in need, both in New Orleans and across the country. 'WEEN DREAM became recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity effective March 2014. We are proud to continue to provide costumes for the kids at YEP in addition to children in need across America.
*If you’d like to learn more about YEP, please visit their website.