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Color-coded pumpkins promote inclusivity for trick-or-treating kids

Not all pumpkins are orange; the deeper meaning behind teal, purple, and blue painted pumpkins

TYLER, Texas — Painted in an array of colors, tied to personal stories and specific causes--each color is a fun way to make sure each child trick-or-treating at your door step feels included. 

It all started with the Teal Pumpkin Project —  a worldwide movement for children with food allergies-- and it made its way to East Texas. 

Stephanie Ellis, Longview mother, says she started researching Halloween alternatives when her two-year-old son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. 

"It makes Halloween and food in general a little bit scary for us," Ellis said.

Ellis found the Teal Pumpkin Project and noticed she was the only house in the area on the map.

Ellis took to social media to spread awareness. Now there are 20 homes in the area that are safe for kids with food allergies.

 She says it's a great way to be "inclusive", but not just for kids with food allergies.

"I had several moms reaching out to me, thanking me for spreading awareness because they also have children that couldn't partake in Halloween because of other conditions like feeding tubes, diabetes, celiac disease," Ellis said.

A purple pumpkin can mean two different things: 

It can symbolize that you house is safe for trick-or-treaters because you practice CDC guidelines such as wearing a mask, providing individually wrapped candies, and maintaining sanitary conditions. 

According to The Epilepsy Foundation, a purple pumpkin spreads awareness by prompting conversations with neighbors and raising funds for the cause. 

The Purple Pumpkin Project began in 2012. 

A blue painted pumpkin raises awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorders by explaining how traditional Halloween displays may trigger sensory issues. This can also be shown if a child is carrying a blue pumpkin bucket to show that verbal communication may be limited or nonexistent. 

From a traditional decoration to a vehicle for change, these colored pumpkins are a way to educate, spread awareness, and raise funds- right from your doorstep.