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 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. This year alone we collected $4.0 million cash and merchandise donations. For the 2012 Halloween season we have raised over $11 million for over 130 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 medical 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 computer
- iPods and iPads
- Flat screen TVs
- Medical education dolls
- 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
- Developing rehabilitative art programs
- Weekly music therapy programs
This year we beat our goal and collected $4 million in cash and merchandise donations for more than 130 children's hospitals in the United States and Canada.
For a list of the 2012 Spirit of Children partner hospitals, please click here.
If you're interested in supporting the Spirit of Children program donations are accepted in-stores from September 1 through November 1 and online all year round 24/7.