Pirates and princesses come alive, through IBHS costume drive for needy kids.

Halloween without a costume is just . . . well, October 31st.

Thanks to students in the International Business Honor Society (IBHS), a student organization in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU), more than 100 children in Sweetwater, Florida had a Halloween costume this year.

A convincing pirate

Throughout the fall, IBHS members along with students from FIU’s National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Honors College collected child-size Halloween costumes to distribute in Sweetwater, an economically challenged area of mostly Hispanic people. Donations came from area stores, such as Target, as well as private donors.

IBHS member Ana Calvopina

“We decided to not just hand out the costumes but rather have a party for the kids,” said IBHS’s Jessica La Torre, a junior majoring in accounting and finance who helped organize the event.

On October 23, 2010 at the Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center in Sweetwater, the children, along with their parents, enjoyed an afternoon Halloween-theme party.

“Each child selected a costume to keep, and they were so excited,” La Torre said. “We weren’t expecting it but the kids put on their costumes right away. We thought they would just take it home but they couldn’t wait.”

IBHS and National Society of Collegiate Scholars supervised various projects

Halloween fashions included princesses, pirates, firefighters, Ninjas and more. The fun-filled party also featured face painting, candy bag decoration, hands-on projects and lots of homemade treats from the FIU students.

A happy princess

“Nothing was missing—candy, cupcakes, crafts and costumes!” said Barbie Cabell, a Sweetwater parent at the event. “The kids had so much fun.”

The characters of Elmo and Hello Kitty visited the party, much to the delight of the little ones who ran forward for a hug.

Students discover joy in giving, pleasure in doing.

“Seeing the fun the kids were having and seeing parents enjoy working on crafts with their kids made us volunteers feel wonderful,” La Torre said.

The IBHS volunteers, including Jessica La Torre, front row, center

“What those students did was amazing, and I would be so proud if my daughter goes to FIU when she grows up,” Cabell said. “Sweetwater is a poor town, and these kids wouldn’t have had costumes for Halloween. The students brought joy to these children and their parents.”


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