Salem man wants to collect costumes for needy kids

SALEM – Now that Halloween’s over, Salem resident Justin Ward is asking fellow residents in the area to donate their costumes to help children in need next year who may not have a costume.

“We don’t want to leave any kid out,” he said.

The husband and father of three who works as a care nurse at Beaver Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center said he’s actually trying to expand on a project started several years ago by JC Coulter of JC’s Wellsville Barber Shop and Paradise Tan in Wellsville.

Coulter started collecting Halloween costumes and then distributing them before the holiday to help children in need, getting assistance with donations from some other businesses and charities in the area.

Ward said Coulter has dropped off costumes at schools and held a distribution day at his business, giving away hundreds of outfits over the years.

“I thought it would be a great idea to spread it to the entire county,” Ward said.

A 2002 graduate of Southern Local High School, Ward said he knew Coulter from Facebook and said he received his blessing to bring the program north. He wants to get enough costumes to distribute them in Salem, Columbiana, Lisbon, Leetonia and the East Palestine areas.

He thought this would be a good time to let people know about his plans while Halloween is fresh in their minds, before they get rid of their costumes. No questions are asked of the recipients and all sizes are accepted from donors. He even said they’ll take donations of Halloween decorations.

“We’ve gotta get the word spread. We want to get the whole community involved,” he said.

Later in the year he’s expecting to have boxes placed at some businesses for donations, but said he’ll accept donations now and throughout the year for the Halloween costume project. He’s placed information on his Facebook page and on the Salem Buy Sell Trade page.

Anyone with donations or any businesses, organizations or individuals who want to become involved can contact Ward via email at