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Costume swap kicks off

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Halloween may still be about two months away, but the Burlington County Library’s annual costume swap event drop-off starts sooner than later.

The event ties into “National Costume Swap Day,” which helps families “go green” as well as save a little money by allowing them to trade old Halloween costumes with other parents instead of having to buy new ones.

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Starting Sept. 3, families can drop off their children’s former, gently used Halloween costumes at the Evesham Library, Pinelands Library, Pemberton Library, Bordentown Library or County Library in Westampton.

For every costume a family donates, they will in return receive one costume swap ticket. Then, a month later on Saturday Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. 2 p.m., families can visit any one of the participating libraries and trade their ticket or tickets in for any of the costumes donated by another family.

Each family who participates will be able to get a new Halloween costume for their child or children without having to spend additional money, and those families gain the satisfaction of knowing they did their part in helping the environment.

Those who participate in the costume swap do not need to be a resident or library cardholder to participate in a particular library’s swap event, and residents are encouraged to come to the Oct. 3 swap with their children.

The idea to hold a swap in the Burlington County Library System first started about five years ago at the Pinelands Library with youth services librarian Danielle Haubrich.

In the past, Haubrich had been speaking with a parent about how expensive Halloween costumes were becoming and how a swap at the end of the year would benefit families, so Haubrich decided to try the idea at the library.

“It’s a great way to celebrate a green Halloween and save a little money this year,” Haubrich said.

Haubrich said the first event was a success and had great feedback from parents, so it continued on and has now spread up to five of the BCLS’ branches for this year’s event.

“The parents are happy to be able to get some use out of their children’s old costumes that would otherwise just be sitting in a drawer or box, and they also get something new without spending any money, so it works well both ways.”

Costume drop-offs will be accepted at the participating branches up to the day of the swap on Oct. 3.

According to the rules of the swap, the costumes dropped off must bed in “good condition” and must be “appropriate” for ages infant to teenager.

The libraries also reminds families that the costumes taken from the swap do not necessarily have to be used for Halloween, as many children enjoy wearing costumes during dress-up and playtime all-year round.

Also, no costume donated to the costume swap event will go to waste, as in previous years costumes that remain after the swap event will be stored and saved for the following year’s swap.

For more information about the costume swaps, visit any of the participating BCLS branch websites at www.bcls.lib.nj.us/ and choosing the appropriate Evesham, Pinelands, Pemberton, Bordentown or Westampton section.

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