Halloween season is a time when children everywhere get to dress up and become their favorite characters. For children in pediatric hospitals, however, that celebration can be difficult. Spirit of Children, Spirit Halloween’s charitable foundation, ensures children at more than 150 pediatric hospitals throughout North America can still celebrate the season.
This year, Spirit of Children aims to donate $13 million, plus more than 50,000 costumes, activity books, crayons, and treat bags, to each of its partner hospitals in unique Halloween celebration kits. With these celebration kits, pediatric patients can safely celebrate the season while they continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
Spirit of Children focuses on making hospitals less scary for children and their families by partnering with Child Life Departments working to create more comfortable hospital environments. Child Life Specialists provide healing through medical play and therapeutic disciplines to help normalize the hospital experience. In 2021, Spirit of Children is setting a goal to raise a record $13 million, mainly through donations raised in Spirit Halloween stores and from vendor partners, to continue empowering crucial Child Life work. These funds support vital Child Life programs and roles, including:
Hiring essential Child Life Specialists
Purchasing sensory and educational items as well as adaptive toys and medical teaching dolls
Supporting art, music, canine, and horticulture therapy programs
Constructing and renovating playrooms, playgrounds, teen lounges, and family spaces
“At Spirit Halloween, we are in the business of bringing joy to Halloween celebrations everywhere, but what we’re proudest of are the moments of happiness we can deliver to children at pediatric hospitals,” said Steven Silverstein, President and CEO of Spirit Halloween. “The work we do and the funds we raise for families going through difficult times wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations from our guests and vendors. If we can make Halloween a bit brighter for the patients, families, and our hospital partners, that is what matters most.”
Support from Spirit of Children plays an integral role in the ecosystem of its pediatric hospital partners. According to Kara Warkentine, Director of Development, CMN Hospitals, Ascension Via Christi St. Francis / Wichita, Kansas, “Spirit of Children provided critical support to Child Life when we weren’t sure how COVID-19 would affect pediatric care.” Additionally, “Spirit of Children brings happiness to our patients and families, not just at Halloween, but all year long,” said Jennifer Nunzir, Child Life Specialist, Renown Children’s Hospital in Reno, Nevada.
Spirit of Children support is deeply rooted within the local community. When shoppers donate in-store, 100% of their donation goes directly to a local pediatric hospital that benefits their community. In addition, Spirit Halloween shoppers ring the iconic purple cowbell after every donation at checkout. Guests are encouraged to post a photo or video of themselves ringing the cowbell loudly and proudly using #SpiritOfChildren to spread the season’s excitement and help bring smiles to children’s faces.
To learn more about Spirit of Children please visit a store near you or SpiritofChildren.com.