Making hospitals less scary for kids and their families.
About Spirit of Children
Founded in 2006, Spirit of Children helps make hospitals less scary for kids and their families by providing fun during Halloween and funding all year long to Child Life Departments within children’s hospitals.
Each year with the help of our vendor partners, Spirit sponsors and hosts Halloween celebrations in over 50 children’s hospitals throughout the country. Members of the Spirit field team bring everything that’s needed in order to have the best party possible from costumes to goody bags. Everything brought to the hospitals is donated by Spirit and our vendor partners. It’s a remarkable event that touches thousands of pediatric patients and brings countless smiles and laughter to children who might otherwise miss out on the joy of Halloween.
Additionally, throughout each Halloween season all Spirit stores conduct in-store fundraising campaigns. Last year alone we collected over $1.3mm in cash and merchandise donations. All told we have raised $2.3mm for over 100 children’s hospitals since 2007 . What makes this program so unique is that at the end of each season, every dollar, 100% of the money collected in our stores or donated by our loyal and passionate customers and vendor partners is given to the Child Life departments.
Spirit of Children chooses to partner with and support Child Life whose main function is to provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medial treatment. Trained counselors help children and their families cope with the many stresses involved when a child is in the hospital.
While each hospital is unique in their needs, the money we collect and donate to child life has been used to purchase such educational and entertainment items as laptop computers, DVD players, iPods, flat screen TVs as well as equipment and toys designed specifically for children with physical challenges. In addition to toys and equipment, money raised has been used for such things as; funding field trips, adding staff to keep playrooms open longer and on weekends or developing rehabilitative art programs to name just a few.
This year our goal is to collect over $2.3 mm for 100 children’s hospitals.
For a list of the 2010 Spirit of Children partner hospitals, please click here.
How You Can Help If you’re interested in supporting the Spirit of Children program please check back in August to find your local Spirit Halloween store. Donations are accepted in-stores and online from 9/1/10—11/1/10.
"...This past year I will never forget one of our older patients got to pick a costume and he was so excited he told me because now his mom doesn't have to use her work check to buy him a costume and it would help her out! He was so worried about how his mom was going to find money for a costume and now she didn't have to worry... We are also going to use the money for weekly community re-entry outings. We will use the money to treat the kids to baseball games, cooking classes, go out to dinner, mall trips etc..." Kim Adkins, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
"...The patients and their families had such a great time. The smiles on the kid’s faces were precious. They were all so excited to be at the party. We will be using the money to take some teenagers up to the boundary waters for same camping and canoeing. These children all have limb deficiencies. It will be an experience that many of them would never get to have..." Maureen Johnston, Shriners Hospitals for Children—Twin Cities
"...This program has been a success the past 2 years. It gives both the patients and their families a chance to let loose and turn a stressful time into a more relaxing fun filled experience. The kids really enjoy being able to choose a costume and dress up. It allows them to be 'normal' even though they are in a hospital setting. We were able to purchase adapted video gaming equipment specifically for our Spinal Cord Injury population. This equipment will allow users that do not have a functional grasp or finger dexterity to play independently with a standard controller..." Tara Marsh, CTRS The Children's Institute.
"The Spirit of Children program has been a sensational annual event that has provided our patients with many fun memories and delightful gifts such as costumes and Halloween accessories. Our patients look forward to celebrating Halloween with the staff and participating in all the activities the Spirit Halloween Superstores provide.
The money collected by the Spirit Halloween Superstores has been used in our Child Life Department to provide for entertainers to perform for our patients, to buy birthday gifts for the patients, buy toys for the Patient Activity Centers and supply craft materials to assist in giving our patients a variety of distraction activities." Joanna Lewski-Bauder, CLA Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
"...Your program has truly touched the lives of many from the amazing Halloween party that you put on for our patients to the financial contribution to the Child Life Department. With your very generous donation our department was able to purchase multiple laptop computers for the patients and families to utilize while being stuck in the hospital. The computers have allowed patients and families to feel connected again with the outside world, whether that be by staying in touch with friends and family or having the ability for patients to work on school work or for their patients to be able to stay at their child’s bedside and conduct their own work from the hospital. Having the ability to offer such a great resource has allowed us to better serve the needs of our patients and families..." Ashley Reardon, CCLS Mass. General Hospital for Children