500-plus goodie bags packaged for local children during Halloween Fest

Marymount University students assemble goodie bags during Halloween Fest


Ahead of Halloween, more than 75 Marymount University students, faculty and staff members joined together to assemble goodie bags for children across Northern Virginia.

Halloween Fest, sponsored by Marymount’s Office of Ministry and Spiritual Life, has become a beloved tradition as University buildings and hallways are decorated by students. Children from local community after-school programs and shelters are also often welcomed on campus to trick or treat.

“Sometimes these children don’t have the opportunity to go trick-or-treating, and this is our way of giving back to our community and delivering a happy Halloween experience,” explained Shannon Boley, Assistant Director of Ministry and Spiritual Life at Marymount University.

A Marymount student writes a note during Halloween Fest

During this year’s Halloween Fest event, held on October 28 at Rowley Hall, Marymount volunteers assembled more than 500 bags of goodies filled with candy, glow sticks, stickers and more.

Due to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the goodie bags were delivered before Halloween to nearly a dozen participating organizations, including Doorways for Women and Families, the Willston Community Center and the Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Falls Church, Va.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to learn about the families and children in need, even in this affluent area of Northern Virginia,” said Susan Grunder, Director of Ministry and Spiritual Life. “It’s good for our students to see that they don’t have to travel far to make a difference.”

In addition to the community service event, Marymount students had their own fun by dressing up in retro and decades-inspired costumes for this year’s ‘Time Machine’ theme. Members of the Marymount Fashion Club helped judge the costume contest, while face painting was performed by the campus Art Club. 

Winners of the Halloween Fest costume contest

Additional partner organizations that received Halloween Fest goodie bags include Aspire Afterschool Care locations throughout Arlington, Culpepper Garden, Bethany House of Northern Virginia, Bailey’s Community Shelter and James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va.