Person of the Week: Mary Emma Allison

    One fall afternoon in 1949, Mary Emma Allison, a U.S. schoolteacher, reinvented Halloween’s trick or treat to support UNICEF’s work to help poor children worldwide. Six decades later, Allison’s trick or treat for UNICEF lives on.

    In 1949, Allison and her husband created Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. Wanting to further spread the message, Allison wrote an appeal in a national magazine, which was edited by her husband, asking trick-or-treaters to collect coins for UNICEF. The magazine was published in 1950 and was sent to Presbyterian Sunday school teachers, The New York Times reports.

    Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has so far raised more than USD160 million since its inception to help provide food, clean water, milk and medicine to children in more than 150 countries, according to NY Times.

    Allison passed away Wednesday last week (Oct. 27). She was 93.

    About the author

    • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

      As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.

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