What is Spirit of Children?
Spirit of Children is a program that brings Halloween celebrations to children's hospitals and raises money for Child Life departments at hospitals across the country.
How much money has Spirit of Children raised?
Spirit of Children has raised $7 million in its 6 year history.
Do you have any overhead costs?
None whatsoever. Dollar for dollar, all funds raised go directly to the Child Life department at the hospital being supported. There are no overhead costs or deductions so the hospital receives every cent raised.
What are your goals for the program?
In 2011 alone, we raised $3.0 million in cash and merchandise donations. As we look forward to the next 5 years and beyond, our goal is to bring Spirit of Children to every hospital in America.
How many hospitals does Spirit of Children support?
When we started out in 2006, we worked with 11 hospitals. In 2011, we supported over 120 hospitals.
How do you raise money?
We raise money in all 950+ Spirit Halloween stores and online at SpiritHalloween.com. Our generous partners, such as costume manufacturers also provide cash and merchandise donations.
How does it work? Do you pool all the cash and divide it up amongst all the participating hospitals?
We focus on community by community. Each Spirit Halloween store raises money for the hospital closest to it so that the community feels the impact.
Why Child Life departments? In fact, what is a Child Life department?
Child Life departments provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medical treatment. Trained counselors help children and their families cope with the many stressors involved when a child is in a hospital. We focus on providing support for the Child Life departments to make the hospital stay less scary for both kids and their families.
What do they do with the money?
Every hospital has different needs. The Child Life directors determine what Spirit of Children funds will be used for and the benefits range from purchasing books, TVs and craft materials to providing additional staff and classes. The goal is to ensure the children are receiving the best care and resources while in the hospital.
Spirit is all about Halloween. Why did you create Spirit of Children?
Halloween is a whimsical, magical time of year. We wanted to bring some of that magic to kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to enjoy the holiday. This program is at the heart of Spirit Halloween as a company– all of our employees and partners are wholeheartedly passionate about it. It energizes our 12,000 Spirit Halloween employees, rallies Spirit Halloween vendors and business partners and empowers Spirit Halloween customers to do some good as well.
How does Spirit Halloween as a company support the program?
Spirit of Children is an important initiative for us as a company and we've spent roughly $1 million since the program's inception in time and resources to support it. We invest approximately $200K annually.