Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, in partnership with Spirit Halloween, hosted a Halloween party through the Spirit of Children program for patients and their families, complete with costumes, games and crafts. The parties are extremely uplifting for children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in Halloween celebrations. Thanks to the Spirit of Children program, South Florida patients can enjoy the scary fun of the season despite being in the hospital.
Since the partnership between Spirit Halloween and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital began in 2010, Spirit of Children has raised more than $500,000 in critical funding for the Hospital’s Child Life Department. Funds for Spirit of Children are raised via donations from customers at local Spirit Halloween stores and SpiritHalloween.com, in addition to contributions from vendors and business partners. One hundred percent of funds raised each year stay in South Florida and are donated to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, where the funds were raised in the community.
“Every child should be able to experience the joy of Halloween, regardless of the challenges of hospitalization, illness and physical changes,” said Steven Silverstein, President and CEO of Spirit Halloween. “Spirit of Children is the heartbeat of our company because we see first-hand the magic it brings children and families facing heart-wrenching medical situations. If a child can’t hit the streets to trick-or-treat, then Spirit of Children will bring the Halloween party to them.”
Spirit Halloween is encouraging more donations with its #MORECowbell initiative. Customers ring an iconic purple cowbell each time a donation is made to Spirit of Children at a Spirit Halloween store. Donors are encouraged to post a photo or video of themselves ringing the iconic cowbell using #MOREcowbell and #SpiritofChildren to encourage others to participate and bring more happiness and smiles into children’s lives.
This season, Spirit Halloween team members will supply more than 80,000 costumes, accessories, activities and décor items needed to host ultimate in-hospital Halloween parties. At many locations, patients and their families will have the thrill of meeting one of their favorite TV or movie characters, such as Ben 10 from the Cartoon Network, Chuck E. Cheese and iconic superheroes including, Warner Bros. Batman.
“We are grateful for partners like Spirit of Children, who help us put a smile on our patients and their families by bringing the festivities and a sense of normalcy to them at the hospital. This is just another example of our commitment to exceeding expectations, striving toward a completely satisfying patient and family experience,” said Tim Birkenstock, Interim President of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The Spirit of Children program proceeds will benefit Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Department, which helps make the hospital experience easier and more comfortable for young patients and their families by providing all non-medical treatment and healing through play. The grants provided by Spirit of Children enable the hospital staff to acquire the best tools, education and training. The funds assist in hiring additional Child Life staff, extending Child Life hours of operation and providing full-time Child Life specialists in the emergency department. Additionally, funds will help purchase educational and entertainment items such as iPads and toys used for distraction during procedures. Spirit of Children funding has also helped hospitals create dedicated playrooms, teen lounges and separate family spaces for long hospital visits.
To learn more about Spirit of Children or to help Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, visit SpiritofChildren.com.