The Pumpkin Project: Increasing Inclusion for All Children
We all have fond memories of trick-or-treating as a child and the joy it brought us. But for some kiddos, this night can also bring lots of anxiety due to a disability. To help bring awareness to some of the differences we have, you might notice kids carrying a different colored pumpkin.
The practice of carrying different colored pumpkins on Halloween is called the Pumpkin Project. You may have heard of the Blue Pumpkin Project, the Teal Pumpkin Project, or the Purple Pumpkin Project. St. Vincent Health will be participating in all three this Halloween by distributing the different colored pumpkins to the community.
What Do the Different Colors Mean?
The Blue Pumpkin Project brings awareness to children with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder. If you see a child carrying a blue pumpkin, please be mindful that they may not say, “trick-or-treat,” or “thank-you”, because they do not have the language or physical skills to do so yet. They may also have sensory sensitivities that prevent them from wearing a costume. The blue pumpkins allow these children to communicate this to people, while still feeling included and receiving treats.
The Teal Pumpkin Project makes trick-or-treating safer for children with food allergies. If you are handing out candy at your doorstep, please consider also stocking up on non-food items to hand out to children carrying teal pumpkins. Fun alternatives to candy include glow sticks, spider rings, vampire fangs, bouncy balls, stickers, and much more. It’s important to keep your non-food alternatives in a separate container from your candy—just one wrapped piece containing an allergen could contaminate the whole pile. Then, place a teal pumpkin on your doorstep to let everyone know your home is allergy friendly.
The Purple Pumpkin Project was created to spread awareness about Epilepsy and other seizure disorders in children. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, more than 3.4 million people live with Epilepsy in the United States1. Learn more about it here and join the cause by painting your porch pumpkins purple. If you see a child carrying a purple pumpkin, please be mindful that they may be sensitive to bright flashing lights.
Pick Up Your Pumpkins at SVH!
St. Vincent Health will be serving as a point of distribution for the colored pumpkin pails, starting Monday October 24th, through Saturday October 29th.
Pumpkins can be picked up at the following places:
- St. Vincent Family Health Center front desk, 8am-6pm, Monday, 10/24, through Friday, 10/28; and from 8am-4pm on Saturday, 10/29.
- St. Vincent Hospital (new building) front desk, 8am-6pm, Monday, 10/24, through Friday, 10/28.
- We will also have pumpkins available for pick-up at Trick-Or-Treat on Main Street, Saturday 10/30, 1pm-3pm. Just look for the St. Vincent Health sign, and you will find us with the pumpkins (and treats!)
For more information, please contact SVH Occupational Therapist, Rachel Griffin, OTD, OTR/L, ATP, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the SVH Therapy Services office at 719-486-7180.
- Purple Pumpkin Project. 2022 Epilepsy Foundation®️. https://www.epilepsy.com/volunteer/fundraising/purple-pumpkin-project