A more humanitarian Halloween

Holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving are known as times to give to the less fortunate, whether through toy drives, donating money or volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

Halloween, however, isn’t usually considered a charitable night. After all, its American theme is based on tricks and treats. However, more and more organizations are making All Hollow’s Eve into a night of giving.

One organization makes money for its charity by selling costumes. GoodSociety started the online shop, Costume Studio (costumestudio.com).

The shop includes more than 14,000 different costumes, including everything from The Dark Knight’s Joker for men to Star Wars’ Yoda for dogs.

The organization chose to sell costumes because it found that people spend $5 billion on costumes each year, said Salil Jain, GoodSociety CEO.

Initially, the Web site was going to include an option for people to select from a list of charities, but because of delays in setting up the site, GoodSociety decided to work with Invisible Children, he said.

Invisible Children provides aid to children in northern Uganda.

“We were really inspired by them,” Jain said. “It’s a natural fit. We were looking for a charity that had something to do with children. Costumes are a more playful industry, which ties into helping children.”

Another charitable endeavor is the 11th annual Florida Aquarium’s Nauti-Night Costume Bash. The event’s proceeds benefit education and conservation programs.

Katie Kerney, the marketing manager of the Florida Aquarium, said the aquarium does charity events throughout the year.

“We felt, 11 years ago, that doing a party at a time where people were already partying was a good way to raise money,” she said.

Nauti-Night includes a costume contest with a $2,500 prize for first place.

A new event this year is Halloween ‘Pump’kin ‘Boo’tcamp, which benefits the Susan G. Komen Florida Suncoast Affiliate.

Participants are asked to bring a pumpkin or medicine ball to use in exercising and afterwards there will be a healthy meal.

Damon Reio, a senior majoring in biology, created the event in honor of a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

After participating in a breast cancer awareness walk earlier this month, he said he wanted to continue informing people about the disease.

“Aside from breast cancer awareness, it will be a very fun event,” Reio said.

Nauti-Night Costume Bash at the Florida Aquarium will take place Friday at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $50. The ‘Pump’kin ‘Boo’tcamp will start at 6 p.m. at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.