Celebrating holidays and giving back to our community. At Internet Creations, these are two of our favorite activities. (And we especially enjoy when we can combine them!)
So we were thrilled to contribute to the Halloween Party hosted by the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). TASK provides more than 4,800 free meals per week to patrons in the Trenton area. The Halloween Party is an annual event where local schoolchildren can enjoy a safe and fun holiday.
After the Halloween Party, I caught up with Latifah Austin-Bentley, who has been with TASK for a total of six years. Latifah first came to the TASK as a Case Manager and is currently the Floor Manager/Patron Service Specialist. She gave me a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes into the Halloween Party and what’s next for TASK.
What does a Floor Manager/Patron Service Specialist do?
You ask what a Floor Manager/Patron Service Specialist does…Well, as Floor Manager, I ensure that our patrons receive their meals in an efficient manor, and I keep things running smoothly. As Patron Service Specialist, I assist with volunteers and ensure our holiday programs are planned, organized, and executed.
Tell me about how the Halloween Party tradition got started.
According to some of the veteran workers here, the Halloween Party was started over a decade ago. (Editor’s Note: Wow!)
One of TASK’s missions is to ensure the quality of life for all. By giving the children in our community a safe environment to celebrate this holiday, we create a sense of belonging to the community for the children.
How was the Halloween Party? Who attended and what kind of activities did they enjoy?
The 2015 TASK Halloween Party was a record high at the Trenton Soup Area Kitchen history. We had over 200 children in attendance. Our volunteers consisted of St. Francis nursing students, TCNJ Bonner students, JK Design, CWEP workers from TASK, and five or six independents, and we would like to thank them for giving their time to the children in our community.
We had several activities. First, we had Pin the Bow Tie on the Skeleton, followed by Witch Hat Ring Toss and Fix My Bones (a game where you had to arrange the mix bones to form a skeleton). We also had Mad Laboratory Specimens (where the children placed their hands in a box to guess what they felt) pumpkin decorating, and other arts and crafts.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about the Halloween Party?
Most people do not know that everything at the party was donated, including the popcorn stand and cotton candy machine, which were donated by one of TASK’s own employees, Terrance Jones. We would like to thank him. Both items were a huge hit!
What was your favorite part of the Halloween Party?
My children have been coming to this Halloween Party since 2006. Nine years later, it still puts a smile on their faces, and that bring me joy.
What’s next for TASK, and how can people help?
TASK is starting its Adopt-a-Family program, where families in our community sign-up to receive holiday gift help from our volunteer families, companies, and churches. We are looking for anyone willing to help by adopting a family and buying a holiday present for them.
Want to help TASK? For more information on TASK, including how you can volunteer or donate, visit http://www.trentonsoupkitchen.org/.