For the very first time, Bethlehem Santa Clarita Valley hosted its “Trunk-or-Treat” event – a fundraiser for the church that had carnival games, food, drinks and of course, candy.
While admission to the event was free, portions of proceeds and donations were given to Santa Clarita Grocery – a local nonprofit that delivers groceries to those in need of them.
Joe Baren, pastor at Bethlehem SCV, said having the community brought together for a good cause, following years apart due to the pandemic, felt great.
“This is one of our first major events since the pandemic. We’ve had a few small ones, but it’s one of the first big community ones,” said Baren. “It’s great to provide a safe, family-friendly opportunity for people to be able to gather and help a nonprofit, Santa Clarita Grocery, and those in need and to do it in such a way we love it, balanced.”
Baren said the giving to an outside source is a great source of pride for the church and sets them apart in a sense.
“I think a tendency a lot of times for churches and religious institutions is to become very insular and about themselves, when we’re called to be light in the darkness and hope to the world, by the love of Jesus,” said Baren. “So this is just a great opportunity for the church to shine and provide a great way for families to just have a wonderful time together in an environment where they feel safe and comfortable.”
The event was called “Trunk-or-Treat” because parents and other members of their church decorated the trunks of the cars, parked them in the lot and handed out candy from them.
Mother of three and member of Bethlehem SCV, Kayla Beck, said the event was a great way to engage with the community.
“I think it’s a good way to get in touch with the community, be with them one-on-one and bring some smiling faces and some joy around the community,” said Beck as she handed out candy from the trunk of her SUV. “Just interacting with the community, seeing the children, and just all of us being here – it’s a beautiful night.”
Cyndi Trudeau, who brought her son to the event, said she liked bringing her son to safe community events, such as Trunk-or-Treat.
“It’s a safe environment, it’s fun, and it’s something to get the kids out,” said Trudeau. “It’s a great way to connect the kids outside of school.”