A Luling family has joined the nationwide effort to raise $100,000 dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the result is very spooky.
Denise Rocco, who lives in Lakewood Estates in Luling, said she has always decorated for home for Halloween. This year, however, the decorations are coming with a purpose.
Rocco signed up with St. Jude, and in front of her home is a sign with a QR code that allows visitors to donate money to the hospital. Her initial goal was to raise $500, but after she met that goal the first night she posted about it on Facebook she raised it to $1,000. As of now her donation page reports that she has raised $745.
“I found out about the fundraiser in search for a 12-foot Home Depot skeleton on an internet search,” she said laughing. “I’ve always decorated big for Halloween and often made my own decorations.”
This is Rocco’s first year doing the St. Jude’s fundraiser.
“It just feels nice to make children in the community smile and to bring joy,” she said. “But now that that happiness can help save lives … of course it feels wonderful.”
Rocco said a couple of years ago she decided to tone down her Halloween decorations, but that she’ll never make that mistake again.
“I was just was like, ‘Who am I doing all this for? My children?’ You get kind of tired of putting it all out there,” she said. “It’s a lot of time and money. Well I didn’t do it and that year on Halloween I heard children outside crying like, ‘Oh no! Did they move?’ They were super upset and I thought, ‘Never again.’ It was missed. I didn’t know it was appreciated.”
Rocco said that again last year after Hurricane Ida she heard from many people that the decorations lifted their spirits.
“So many people messaged me or stopped me and told me thank you for doing it,” she said. “They said their kids were now talking about what they wanted to be for Halloween and that it gave their family some normalcy and pushed them forward to look forward to a holiday.”
Rocco said she will continue to add yard decoration as Halloween gets closer.
To donate to Rocco’s fundraiser, visit https://fundraising.stjude.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=events_eventsearch and search for “Rocco.”