Tis the season when Spirit Halloween stores pop up in empty storefronts across the country. Yes, but why are we talking about them on Feel Good Friday? To learn about their Spirit of Children program, of course.
Spirit of Children (SoC) is “to make hospital stays less scary for kids and their families”. In the first year, SoC hosted Halloween parties at 11 hospitals. Today these celebrations happen in 147 partner hospitals around the United States and Canada.
In addition to Halloween parties, Spirit of Children has raised over $77 million in cash and merchandise donations to support Child Life departments in their partner hospitals. These are departments that provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medical treatment.
Donations are collected from customers in the 1400+ Spirit Halloween stores and 100% of the money goes to partner hospitals in communities local to the stores. As they explain on the website, the money raised provides, “salaries for Child Life Specialists and Fellows, a full-time Child Life presence in the Emergency Department, creation of dedicated playrooms, teen lounges and family space, and the ability for our hospitals to purchase sensory and educational equipment, computers, iPads and distraction toys for use during procedures as well as toys created specifically for physical and developmental limitations.”
To get a sense of the work and the impact, watch the 5-minute video on this page. You’ll hear from children and their parents and see the Halloween parties in full swing.
If you’d like to support Spirit of Children, the best way to do so is by making a donation when you’re in a store tomorrow buying your last minute sexy fill-in-the-blank costume. To stay informed year-round, follow Sprit Halloween on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @SpiritHalloween and Instagram @apirithalloween.