MIAMI - It would seem like a right of passage for every kid, to be able to dress up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating. A local high schooler is making "Miami Proud" by taking it upon herself to make sure no child misses out.
Seventeen-year-old Isabel Del Valle McGuiness has spent the last five years growing and fine-tuning her project called "Share the Boo." She employs the assistance of her friends, volunteers, and community organizations to collect costumes and candy for those who might not get to enjoy a traditional Halloween.
"Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love dressing up. I loved going trick or treating. It's always been so much fun for me," she said.
It's a year-long project that culminates with a Share the Boo event where kids shop for free, picking out costumes and collecting a bag of candy. It's an act of kindness that seems innate to this Mast High School senior, but she gives praise to her parents for her generosity.
"I've always grown up kind of being taught that it's important to give back to our community and to be kind to others as well. I just kind of noticed that not all kids are able to participate in all of these holidays, especially Halloween. Some families don't have the disposable income to purchase a brand new Halloween costume," said McGuiness
The Tacolcy Center in Liberty City is a community center that benefits from Share the Boo. The community center's CEO, Shownda Pagan, described the experience of Share the Boo.
"It's like a mall," Pagan said. "We set up the space where they can literally go item by item and shop."
Share the Boo is a reflection of who McGuiness is, according to Pagan. She said she's constantly impressed with the teen who brings candy, costumes and smiles to her center.
"The fact that you have a young woman at her age, you know, thinking about giving back to the community and being a part of the community to me is amazing. You don't see that often in youth," she said.
McGuiness recalled one of her favorite moments at a Share the Boo event. She was wearing a green crayon costume when a little boy, maybe four years old walked up to her.
"I was like, do you want to be a (crown) crayon for Halloween," McGuiness said she asked him. "His face just lit up and he was like, 'Yes, I want to be a crown'. We ended up taking a picture together and we just, it was just great."
McGuiness is thinking about studying political science in college so she can continue to work for and give back to her communities.
There's a Halloween Spooktacular at Charles Hadley Park on 50th Street in Miami on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
McGuiness' Share the Boo will be there handing out costumes and candy.
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