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Pa. organization Halloween Helpers collects costumes for kids in need

Will your child outgrow that Halloween costume? Donate it to a local organization!
Will your child outgrow that Halloween costume? Donate it to a local organization! 02:09

WYNNEWOOD, Pa. (CBS) -- Now that Halloween is over, you may be putting the decorations away. But instead of boxing up the costumes, grab an envelope instead.

A local family is behind a growing movement to up-cycle Halloween costumes many only wear once.

Norristown-based organization Halloween Helpers gives gently used costumes another life by donating them to kids at need in the U.S. and abroad.

Halloween Helpers was started by a 12-year-old girl and her mother, Ilyse Shapiro, more than a decade ago.

Shapiro says the idea started small.

Her daughter wanted to donate her own halloween costumes to kids who might not have them in Montgomery County.

"We were hoping to get 100 costumes and we ended up getting 2000 costumes," Ilyse Shapiro said. "And that was year one."  

The mom-and-daughter duo then paired up with the Greater Norristown Police Athletic League to collect costumes and give them away for free.

But that idea quickly took off with summer camps, schools and businesses stepping up to help, all donating gently used costumes that would otherwise be sitting in a closet, attic or basement, never to be worn again.

"These are costumes she wore an hour or so trick-or-treating, or for a 20 minute dance recital," Shapiro said. "So she said, 'I bet there are other kids who may not have access to these kinds of costumes who could use them for Halloween.'"

The organization has now distributed 20,000 costumes to kids in the U.S. and in Pakistan.

Halloween Helpers is so big now  they even have their own warehouse. The organization has donated to 40 nonprofits this year alone.

Shapiro hopes they help even more next year.

All you have to do is send them your gently used costumes.

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