Things weren’t looking very good for Corbin Hebert as he tried to make last Halloween a happy one for his two young children.
His wife had just been laid off from her job and money was tight.
“Halloween was definitely a rough one,” Hebert said. “It would’ve broken my heart if I wouldn’t have able to take my kids for Halloween because I wasn’t able to afford a costume.”
Luckily for Hebert and his family, his neighbour Kevin McIntosh had set out a rack of second-hand costumes, trying to brighten up Halloween for struggling families in his townhouse complex in northeast Calgary.
“It’s a give and take kind of thing. If you’ve got something to give out, please do, and if you need something, please come and take it,” McIntosh said. “It’s free – come take it. I know times are tough.”
As a single father, McIntosh sometimes faced challenges making sure his two kids didn’t miss out on the Halloween fun.
“I know what it’s like to struggle,” McIntosh said.
He started his “Halloween Repurpose with a Purpose” rack with old costumes his kids had grown out of, adding to it with donations.
More donations are coming in this year, with McIntosh now getting some help on the project from his sister, Colleen Carr.
“I’m going to do laundry and pick up costumes if it needs to happen,” Carr said. “I just want it to be big, so that more kids can be helped.”
McIntosh also helped a lot of young Calgarians during several years as a little league baseball coach.
“He’s about putting a smile on a kid’s face,” Carr said. “He’s an amazing guy with a huge heart.”
Money isn’t quite so tight for Hebert this year, so he’s returning the two costumes his children went trick-or-treating in last year. They’re going back on McIntosh’s rack for other families to enjoy.
“We’re going to let somebody less fortunate take it this year, ’cause we’ve gotten back on our feet since last year,” Hebert said. “We’re Calgarians – we should take care of each other.”
If you have any costumes you’d like to donate, you can drop them off at McIntosh’s home at 12 Georgian Villas NE in Calgary’s Marlborough Park neighbourhood.
McIntosh is now hoping costume racks might become a new Halloween tradition in other neighbourhoods around Calgary.
“Community is what we’re trying to build,” McIntosh said. “(We should) really try and push the kindness.”