EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewsCentre/ — To ensure Halloween is not one of the childhood hallmarks getting canceled this year, Spirit of Children is delivering one-of-a-kind care packages to more than 140 pediatric hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. Each care package will contain assorted costumes, activity books, crayons and treat bags. Child Life Specialists will "reverse trick-or-treat" with the children by delivering the packages individually to patients’ rooms. Many hospitals will also create video conferencing parties for contactless celebrations.
This year, Spirit of Children, which is focused on making hospitals less scary for kids and their families, has set a record goal of raising $11 million, mainly through donations raised in Spirit Halloween stores. Since its creation in 2006, Spirit of Children has raised more than $65 million specifically on behalf of Child Life Services at hospitals across the United States and Canada. Donations to Spirit of Children stay within the communities they are raised, and 100 percent of the proceeds are donated directly to their local pediatric hospitals.
"Spirit of Children has been at the heart of our organization for more than a decade," said Steven Silverstein, President and CEO of Spirit Halloween. "We are honored to bring a sense of normalcy to some of the toughest times a family and child go through, and that dedication doesn’t stop in a pandemic. We are determined, now more than ever, to bring the magic of Halloween to pediatric patients, even if we can’t be there in person this year."
Many Child Life programs would not be able to provide vital patient care without Spirit of Children. Child Life Departments help make the hospital experience for young patients and their families more comfortable by providing all non-medical treatment and healing through play. As examples, program grants have assisted in hiring additional Child Life staff and extending Child Life hours of operation. Other uses include purchasing educational tools and sensory items which provide a pleasant distraction during procedures. Similarly, Spirit of Children has dedicated playrooms, teen lounges and separate family spaces for long hospital visits.
"Spirit of Children plays an instrumental role in our efforts to provide children with the best possible experiences during their time in the hospital," said Scott Kerbs, Public Relations Manager at UMC Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, Nev. "Thanks to the generous funding from Spirit of Children, we recently introduced a groundbreaking virtual reality program that allows children to venture beyond their hospital rooms and visit faraway lands, play immersive games and even swim alongside dolphins."
"Because of the generosity of Spirit of Children, we’re able to provide the best patient and family-centered care, from distraction tools and sibling support supplies to sensory rovers and life celebrations," said Rebecca Desmond, Special Events Coordinator, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
The funds raised by Spirit of Children cannot happen without the outpouring of support from local communities. Customers ring the iconic purple cowbell when they donate to Spirit of Children at checkout. Donors are encouraged to post a photo or video of themselves ringing the cowbell loudly and proudly using #MoreCowbell and #SpiritofChildren to encourage others to participate and bring smiles to children’s lives.
About Spirit Halloween
Spirit Halloween (spirithalloween.com) is the largest Halloween retailer in the country with 1,400 locations in strip centers and malls across North America. Celebrating 37 years of business, Spirit is the premier destination for all things Halloween, offering one-stop shopping for everything from costumes to décor and party goods to accessories. In addition to being a fun and interactive event for shoppers, Spirit stores offer complete selections of costumes and accessories for infants/toddlers, children, ‘tweens, teens, and adults along with exclusive décor you won’t find anywhere else. For more information, please visit: www.spirithalloween.com.
About Spirit of Children
At the heart of Spirit Halloween is Spirit of Children, a program which focuses on making hospitals less scary for kids and their families. Since its creation in 2006, Spirit of Children has raised more than $65 million for the Child Life department at hospitals across the United States and Canada. Donations to Spirit of Children stay within local communities, with 100 percent of funds going to Child Life Services. For the 2020 Halloween season, Spirit of Children will be supporting more than 140 hospitals across the country, with a goal to raise a record $11 million. Spirit encourages customers to help make a difference in a child’s life this Halloween season by donating at their local Spirit Halloween or spreading awareness via Facebook and Instagram using #SpiritofChildren and #MoreCowbell in their photos. For more information, please visit: www.SpiritOfChildren.com.
Erin Springer: Spirit Halloween Public Relations
Erin.Springer@SpiritHalloween.com | 609-645-5619
Stephanie Kayser: Crossroads Public Relations
SKayser@Crossroads.us | 816-384-6570
SOURCE: Spirit Halloween