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Ipswich: Halloweeen costume 'drop and shop' aids nonprofit

By Bethany Bray Staff Writer The Salem News Mon Oct 03, 2011, 05:04 AM EDT

IPSWICH -- One year it's all about princesses, the next it's superheroes.

The ever-changing tastes of growing children can leave families with a closet full of outgrown Halloween costumes that are just so last year.

An upcoming event in Ipswich will take those used costumes off your hands and offer a chance to shop for a new costume at a bargain price, all while helping a local nonprofit.

The Windhill Realty office in downtown Ipswich located at 16 Market Street is accepting used costumes through Friday, October 7th. On Saturday October 8th, they'll resell the costumes for $6 each; those who donate a used costume will receive a coupon to pay just $3 per costume.

100% of the proceeds from the event benefit the Birth to Three Family Center in Ipswich, a nonprofit that provides social services, play groups, workshops and a myriad of resources for families with young children.

The event gets a few more miles out of Halloween costumes while helping local families in a difficult economic time, said Denise Mootafian, a Windhill realtor who is organizing the event.

"(The Birth to Three center) is a wonderful community service that we have that not every town has," said Mootafian. "I brought my kids there. ... I feel passionate about it because of my experiences there."

Costumes that aren't sold on Saturday will be donated to the center, she said, to be given to families that can't afford Halloween costumes or to use for dress-up at the center.

Donated costumes should be gently used, clean and size-appropriate for a child up to middle-school age. People can also donate diapers or baby formula this week for the Birth to Three center to receive a half-off coupon for Saturday's sale.

The fundraiser comes at a time when the Birth to Three Family Center is really feeling the pinch of a sluggish economy, said Kitt Cox, program coordinator. "Like many state agencies, our funding has been severely reduced, and it's at a time when families are needing our services even more," said Cox. "In this economy, even diaper rash is going up because people are changing diapers less (to save money). "In the past 10 years, state funding has decreased by more than half, said Kitt.

The Birth to Three center serves 300 families per year from Ipswich and surrounding towns. They offer support for postpartum depression, story times and play groups, a "dad and me" program for fathers and numerous other programs. The center opened in 2000.

Staff writer Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

Halloween drop, swap and shop - How You Can Participate!

Drop off gently used costumes or donations of diapers and formula through Friday, October 7th, at Windhill Realty, 16 Market St., Ipswich. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tax-deductible receipts given.

Shop Saturday, Oct. 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Windhill Realty, 16 Market Street, Ipswich, MA. Costumes will be resold for $6 each. Half-off coupons for people who donate used costumes, diapers or baby formula.

Information about the event, 978-356-8922 info@windhillrealty.com

Information about Birth to Three Family Center, visit 15 Market St., suite 4, Ipswich, or www.birthtothreeipswich.org

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