News / Winnipeg

Friendship centre offers safe trick-or-treating in Winnipeg’s North End

Safe Halloween event is still looking for candy donations and volunteers.

The Safe Halloween committee at the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre is working to organize the 2015 Safe Halloween event.

Dave Baxter/Metro Winnipeg

The Safe Halloween committee at the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre is working to organize the 2015 Safe Halloween event.

Some violent incidents in Winnipeg’s North End back in 2010 had many parents too scared to even take their kids out for Halloween, so the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre decided to bring trick-or-treating indoors, and make it an annual tradition.

For the sixth October in a row the Friendship Centre will host their Safe Halloween event that invites kids from the community to come trick-or-treating right in their building.

“About six years ago we had a lot of crime in the neighbourhood, and we heard a lot of concerns from the people that they were afraid to leave their homes and take the kids out for Halloween,” said Friendship Centre worker Bill Greenwalt.

Greenwalt said there was rash of shootings in 2010, just days before Halloween.

“So people were coming here saying they didn’t want to take their kids trick-or- treating and that’s what started it.”

With less than a week to set up, the centre held an indoor trick-or-treat event in 2010, and since then have held an annual Safe Halloween event.

“It has developed into this huge thing,” said Friendship Centre worker Kerri Johnston, who said they average about 1,500 kids coming through the doors every year.

Staff and volunteers who take part, and kids who come to get candy have a good time, said Johnston, but she said the main focus is always about keeping kids safe.

“We are definitely helping with safety on Halloween, and we are contributing to ending violence.”

The centre gets a huge candy donation every year from Winnipeg Harvest, but still needs additional donations of candy and Halloween decorations, and also needs volunteers.

Anyone that would like to donate or volunteer can call Johnston at the Friendship Centre at 204-586-8441, or drop donations off right at the Friendship Centre.

Safe Halloween goes from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Halloween night at the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre at 45 Robinson St.

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