Ghouls and goblins roam hospitals

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Ghouls and goblins roam hospitals

Children receive costumes for Halloween.

Children receive costumes for Halloween.

Children receive costumes for Halloween.

Children receive costumes for Halloween.

Mia Hogan, Staff Writer

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Living in a hospital could be anyone’s Halloween nightmare.

Both children, families, and the community are greatly impacted once one moves into the hospital for daily medical treatment.

Since 2006, Spirit, the Halloween costume store has been making hospitals less scary for kids and families with the help of customers and vendor partners.

Spirit provides hospitals with fun Halloween activities and gifts coupled with funding for activities all year long for children life departments of local hospitals in the Bay Area.

Junior Alex Singer said, “Growing up, Halloween was always a special time of the year for me. Knowing that there is a program where hospitalized children can still participate in this spectacular holiday is heartwarming.”

Spirit’s Halloween celebrations can be found in hospitals across the country. Spirit team members host parties for patients, supplying them with goodies and costumes. All items and money used to fund these activities are raised by vendor partners and in-store customers.

This event touches many pediatric patients who would have missed out on the Halloween fun many other kids experience every year.

Since 2007, Spirit has raised $16 million and counting for child life departments in hospitals across the country. 100 percent of donations are given to the Spirit of Children program, benefiting over 130 children’s hospitals.

Local participating hospitals include UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Central California, and Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland.

Junior Davis Schmitt said, “With many large scale companies focused on making large amounts of profit, Spirit focuses on giving back to the community.”

The Spirit of Children program is directed toward the child life department. This wing in the hospital is responsible for providing developmental, educational, and therapeutic support for patients and families. Trained counselors help families learn how to cope with current stress and hardships.

Senior Natalie Tussy said, “Life in a hospital will be stressful for everyone. Providing support for the family is a brilliant idea to help support the patient. Spirit’s program is perfect because it can distract everyone from the current hardships and make the environment slightly more relaxed and enjoyable.”

Money raised in stores is used in hospitals uniquely. Typical items purchased include technological devices like laptops or iPads, toys for handicapped children, and medical education dolls.

Funding is also used toward field trips, increasing playroom hours, and adding new therapy and rehabilitation programs.

Donations are open year round online and in stores from Sept. 1 to Nov. 1.

 

 

 

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