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Fourth Grader Helps Make Other Children's Halloween More Special

Abby Shaw collected over 200 costumes to donate to underprivileged children this Halloween.

Now that all the costume parties, parades and Trick-or-Treating has passed, most costumes get shoved in a draw or the back of a closet and quite often become nothing more than a memory past.

Abby Shaw is a 4th grader on a mission to give new life to those gently used and forgotten costumes and spread the spooky fun of Halloween to children everywhere. This year, she started a costume collection project to donate costumes to children who cannot afford to buy them each year.

She's involved family from Rumson to Toms River to help find donations.

“Other children really need costumes because it is getting so expensive every year,” said Abby. "Most kids don't want to wear the same costume every year so I thought why not give them to other children who really need them!"

The Shaw Family recently moved to Rumson from Middletown and while packing, they realized how many old costumes they had laying around. Abby said she wanted to start her own service project after learning about the in class at theand this is how “Costumes for Kids” was born."Our family alone had over 50 costumes lying around," said Jen Shaw, Abby's mother.

Once they decided to work on this project, they reached out to all of their connections. “We sent out flyers and e-mails to lots of people we know,” said Jen.

And they got a lot of positive feedback. Their dentist, in Little Silver, offered her office as a collection spot for costumes. Abby’s dad collected at Morgan and Stanley in Red Bank. A service group at the St. James School in Red Bank helped collect costumes for Abby’s organization as well. Even Abby’s grandmother in Toms River collected costumes from families in Ocean County. In addition to these collection sites, Abby also had a drop off at her home and went door to door to collect donations.

“Any way we can get them, we go get them!” said Jen.

And all of their hard work paid off. For this Halloween, they collected over 200 costumes and donated them to Manna House, Lunch Break and the United Way.

“It feels great to know that I am helping others. I feel like this little person who can help other children and it’s awesome!” said Abby.

After having such a successful run the first time around, Abby and Jen plan to continue to donate to local organizations every Halloween and collect costumes throughout the year to get as many as possible. “We’d like to do this year after year and hopefully we can get the project into school and collect there,” said Jen.

To donate your gently used costumes, contact Jen Shaw at cnjshaw6@me.com.

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