Collecting money for UNICEF on Halloween is as much of a tradition as saying "trick or treat!" But this year, those familiar collection boxes are getting a new look -- the look that you want. For the first time in the campaign’s 62-year history, kids will have a chance to design their own collection boxes. Original designs for the “Create-a-Character” contest may be submitted online. Winning designs in three age categories (4-8, 9-12, and 13 years and older) will become part of a limited edition collection for next year’s campaign, and the winners will also receive up to 1,000 boxes with their featured design to distribute in their community. Don't feel like making your own design, but you'd still like a new look for your UNICEF box? No problem! There are six spooky new character boxes from which to choose: a monster, black cat, princess, pumpkin, vampire, and a witch. No matter what you decide, don't forget to collect -- so far, UNICEF has raised more than $167 million for children in need around the world. The box design contest will run through Oct. 26, and can be submitted online at trickortreatforunicef.org. Fundraising kits containing the character boxes, the blank collection box for design and new educational resources may be ordered online with free shipping at trickortreatforunicef.org or by calling 1-800-FOR-KIDS, while supplies last.
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.