‘Listen to your grandmother’: Naugatuck grandmas use social media to try and save Halloween

New Haven

NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) — It may sound strange, but when it comes to safe trick-or-treating during the pandemic, a group of grandmothers says there’s an app for that.

Debbie Deptula is the grandmother of three grandchildren in Naugatuck. She’s also friends with several other grandmothers in the borough. They run a Facebook page called “What’s Happening in Naugatuck.” And when people started asking what’s happening with trick or treating this year, they hatched a plan.

“A lot of people on our What’s Happening in Naugatuck page were asking who’s giving out candy?” Debbie said.

The grandmas got a sweet idea and went to work using social media to salvage the tradition for their grandkids in a way they thought was safe and responsible and follows the CDC guidelines for trick or treating.

They asked members if they wanted to give out candy. Those who did were asked to put their addresses in a link on the Facebook page. The grandmas are taking those addresses and putting them into an app that shows people in Naugatuck which houses are participating in their COVID-19 safe trick or treating.

“Several people in our group have said that they are talking about putting candy out and having the candy on the table. Other people are saying they’re going to use tongs or have a candy chute,” Debbie said. “A lot of things have been taken away from the kids during COVID and so many things have changed and we don’t want this taken away from them so as long as everybody is practicing social distancing and wearing masks and gloves, I think it’s a safe practice.”

So far, more than 200 Naugatuck households have signed up. Debbie says the map will go live next week on the group’s Facebook page.

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