Spirit of Children Program Brings Halloween to
Hospital Child Life Departments Across the U.S. and Canada
Spirit Halloween, the country’s leading seasonal Halloween retailer, announced today that its 2009 Spirit of Children campaign has successfully raised a record-breaking one million dollars in customer, vendor and partner donations as well as merchandise contributions. One hundred percent of the money raised will go to improving the comfort and experience of pediatric patients through the purchase of items including books, computers, and entertainment centers, games specifically designed for children with physical challenges as well as toys that are fun, educational and therapeutic for hospital child life departments. This year, Spirit Halloween hosted Halloween parties for children at over 50 participating hospitals. Since its inception in 2006, Spirit of Children has raised more than $1.8 million for hospitals all across the United States and Canada.
“Spirit of Children is a way for Spirit Halloween to bring the fun and fantasy of Halloween to children who otherwise might not be able to enjoy the holiday,” said Steven Silverstein, Spirit Halloween President and CEO. “The positive response we receive from the hospitals and the excitement of the children this program touches is extremely meaningful for our organization, the hundreds of our employees who participate on their own time, and our customers who donate generously. We hope to continue to grow this initiative in the years to come.”
The Spirit of Children program has built significant momentum, receiving support from participating hospitals and Spirit employees in every region of the nation. The program has expanded its reach from 11 hospitals in its 2006 to 74 hospitals in 2009, including such leading medical institutions as Texas Children’s, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospitals, Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and Phoenix Children’s Hospital as well as ten Shriner’s Hospital for Children locations throughout the country.
“Thanks to the Spirit of Children program and generosity of the community, we’ve received more than $150,000 in the last two years,” said Jamie Byrd, Child Life Manager at Texas Children’s Hospital. “With this money, we’ve been able to greatly improve the Child Life facilities at Texas Children’s by adding a variety of amenities to improve the hospital stay for our young patients.”
The Spirit of Children program takes a three-pronged approach to providing holiday excitement and support for children during hospital stays. Volunteer Spirit employees bring Halloween celebrations to participating hospital child departments with costumes, pumpkin painting, costume parades, Halloween games and crafts, offering a temporary escape for the young patients, in hospitals across the United States and Canada. Additionally, the program raises needed funds through the generous donations of Spirit Halloween’s customers and partners as well as from the profits generated through the sale of exclusively designed eco-friendly trick-or-treat bags, available at all Spirit Halloween stores.
For a full list of participating hospitals and additional information regarding the Spirit of Children program, please visit www.spirithalloween.com/spiritofchildrenday/.
About Spirit Halloween
Spirit Halloween (www.spirithalloween.com) is the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in the country with 725 locations in strip centers and malls across the United States and Canada. The authority on all things Halloween, Spirit has offered one-stop shopping — ranging from costumes to décor and party goods to accessories — for more than 25 years. 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, adults, and even pets. At the heart of Spirit Halloween is the Spirit of Children program, which is devoted to bringing the fun, imagination and fantasy of Halloween to pediatric patients in hospitals and rehabilitation centers across the United States.