From Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.
This year, it has become especially difficult to navigate “business as usual” with the ever-present threat of COVID-19. Depending upon where you live, trick-or-treating might not be safe or even possible this year.
There is an alternative that can give members of houses of worship a safe way to celebrate the fall — a trunk-or-treat event in the parish parking lot or a nearby location.
Not only do children experience the excitement of gathering treats, but they also can enjoy seeing others’ creativity in decorating their trunks. These experiences can benefit mental health for adults and children, as families embrace “normal” experiences during an uncertain time. Not only is a trunk-or-treat event a safer alternative to trick-or-treating, but it’s also a great way to foster community among congregations, as well as all other organizations.
There are two parts to a trunk-or-treat event:
- Participants decorate the trunks of their cars. Places of worship can establish a general theme for the event (such as literature or movies) or leave it up to members’ creativity. When decorating, participants can choose to adopt a fall or Halloween theme, but it’s okay if their trunk has nothing to do with the season at all. Participants can be asked not to use scary items in their decorations.
- Children go from trunk to trunk, gathering treats such as candy and small toys. This part of the event lends itself particularly well to social distancing, because participants can choose to leave containers of treats in their vehicles while they visit the other stations. Therefore, there’s no need for children to have close contact with others while collecting their treats.
- Plan for appropriate security and safe areas during the event to address potentially dangerous situations, including protestors or an armed intruder.
- Inspect the parking area ahead of time for tripping hazards such as potholes, cracks and unmarked curbs.
- Schedule a time prior to the event for vehicles to arrive, so children aren’t walking around among moving vehicles.
- Use volunteers to direct traffic.
- Park vehicles every other stall/spot to allow plenty of space for social distancing.
- Provide marks that are six feet apart for families to use as they wait in line to enter the event.
- Create a one-way flow of families to move through the vehicle stations.
- Only allow prepackaged treats for distribution and gather candy/toy donations ahead of time so you can inspect everything that will be distributed.
- If you decide to serve refreshments during the event, stick to prepackaged food and drinks to minimize preparation risks and prevent spread of coronavirus.
- Clearly identify treats that have nuts or dairy so children with allergies can avoid them.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages mask wearing to prevent spread of coronavirus. Encourage participants to incorporate masks into their costumes and practice social distancing.
Learn more about hosting safe events at your house of worship and find the insurance you need at Church Mutual’s website.
About Church Mutual
Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., founded in 1897, offers specialized insurance for religious organizations of all denominations, public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities, senior living facilities, secular and non-secular camps and conference centers, and nonprofit and human services organizations throughout the United States. Church Mutual markets most lines of commercial property and liability insurance, including multi-peril, workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance. In addition to insurance, Church Mutual provides a spectrum of value-added solutions that benefit its customers. Church Mutual holds the following honors:
- M. Best Company “A” (excellent) rating
- BenchmarkPortal Top 10 National Customer Service Center
- Wisconsin 75 Top Private Company by Deloitte US, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
- Wisconsin 75 Distinguished Performer: Innovation by Deloitte US 2019
- Futuremakers Partner by Wisconsin Technical College System
- Celent Model Insurer for innovation and emerging technologies
- Award in Innovation for entrepreneurialism and innovation by National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
- 2018-2019 Employer of the Year by Northcentral Technical College