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Girl bringing the spirit of Halloween to kids with costumes
Halloween is a fun time for a lot of children to dress up and play make-believe for a while. Selene Roberts realized that some children could really use that diversion, so she set out to make sure they get that chance.
"I was always a big fan of superheroes and cats. I always did one or the other," she said.
Halloween has always been one of 12-year-old Selene Roberts' favorite times of the year. It came as no surprise when a family friend in Louisiana asked the then-nine-year-old if she'd help collect costumes for children who didn't have them.
"That's why I did it for my first year. I helped her with Ween Dream and then I decided to branch it off into my own nonprofit called It's the Spirit."
That's right. She started her own nonprofit.
Watching the magic unfold at a residential youth shelter in Baton Rogue was all it took. It was a moving experience that gave Selene a purpose.
"I guess I never really thought about kids not having a Halloween and once I figured out some kids can't afford costumes. Some kids don't have a Halloween. I guess it just kind of brought it to my attention and that's when I figured out, this is a cause that I want to help," she said.
She's gotten a lot of help collecting more than 1,500 costumes over the last three years. That help has come from church members, classmates at St. Paul Catholic School, fellow Children's Chorus members, Mystic Mafia and Krew of Lafitte Mardi Gras groups.
Selene has taken the fantasy to children's hospitals, Boys and Girls Clubs, group homes, wherever she thinks she might be able to share the spirit.
"I have taken them to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. And, this year, we're giving them to the siblings at the Ronald McDonald House," Selene explained.
And who knows what other stops along the way. Many times Selene may not get to meet the children who, because of her, have their chance to play make-believe, if just for a day.
"I do it just for the joy of the other children. Just knowing in my heart that I did good for somebody, it gives me more joy," she said.
Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.