What is Spirit of Children?
Spirit of Children is a program that brings Halloween celebrations to children's hospitals each October and raises money for 140 Child Life departments across the United States and Canada. To date, Spirit of Children has raised $45 million it its 12 year history.
What do you do with the money raised?
Every hospital has unique needs at different times and Child Life Directors try to meet their hospital's challenges accordingly. The benefits range from purchasing computers, TVs and distraction toys to providing additional Child Life staff and classes. Additionally, money raised is used to create playrooms and family space as well as help fund art, music, pet and aquatic therapies. The goal is to ensure that children are receiving the best care and resources while in the hospital as well as helping their families cope with the stresses of injury or illness.
Do you have any overhead costs?
Spirit of Children does not have any overhead costs whatsoever. 100% of all funds raised go directly to the Child Life department at the local partner hospital.
What are your goals for the program?
As we look forward to the next ten years and beyond, our goal is to bring Spirit of Children to every hospital in North America.
How many hospitals does Spirit of Children support?
In its initial year of operation, 2006, Spirit of Children worked with 11 hospitals to host Halloween parties – we brought the magic of Halloween to the Hospitals! Today, we have 140 partner hospitals.
How do you raise money?
Donations from customers at our 1,300 Spirit Halloween stores and SpiritHalloween.com help to raise money for our local hospitals. Additionally, our vendor and business partners also provide monetary and merchandise donations.
How do you divide the funds between hospitals?
Spirit of Children focuses on local communities. Each Spirit Halloween store raises money for the partner hospital closest to them so that its local community feels the impact directly.
What is a Child Life Department?
Child Life departments provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medical treatment. Trained Child Life Specialists work with children and their families to help them cope with the many stresses involved when a child is in the hospital. Spirit of Children helps Child Life staff provide therapeutic and emotional healing while doctors and nurses focus on medical treatment.
What made Spirit Halloween create Spirit of Children?
Halloween is a whimsical, magical time of year. We created Spirit of Children because we wanted to bring some of that magic to kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to enjoy the holiday.
From a company standpoint, how does Spirit Halloween support the program?
This Spirit of Children program is the heart of Spirit Halloween as a company – all of our employees are wholeheartedly passionate about it. It energizes and rallies our vendors, business partners and Spirit Halloween customers. We invest approximately $300k annually in this program that we so strongly believe in and support to truly make hospitals less scary for kids and their families.