Spirit Halloween presented a $69,496 check to the Child Life professionals of Golisano Children’s Hospital during Child Life Month. The funds were part of the Spirit of Children campaign held last October, when the company also gifted $4,000 in costumes, decorations and crafts – helping to make Halloween fun and the hospital less scary for the children hospitalized during the holiday.
March is Child Life Month, a month where hospitals celebrate child life specialists and the Child Life profession through education and awareness of their work. The certified Child Life Specialists bring joy and comfort to hospitalized kids and their families through evidence-based techniques such as medical play and therapeutic disciplines to help normalize the hospital experience.
Spirit of Children has gifted more than $322K+ since partnering with Golisano Children’s Hospital. Last year’s gift was used to equip sensory rooms which help patients with special needs to cope with hospital stays and doctor appointments. The sensory rooms include fiber optic lights, bubble towers, exercise balls and many squeeze balls with different textures. Even simple toys can calm a child in a new setting.
“The ability to purchase sensory items with the funds donated from Spirit of Children help bring comfort and familiarity to this special population,” shared Stacie Kmetz, certified child life specialist and events coordinator, Golisano Children’s Hospital. “We had a family recently visit the Sedation Unit and they were very nervous bringing their child into a new, possibly scary setting. Our Child Life Specialist was able to meet with them upon arrival and provide sensory items to comfort the child.”
Spirit of Children focuses on making hospitals less scary for children and their families by partnering with Child Life Departments working to create more comfortable hospital environments. With donations raised in Spirit Halloween stores and from vendor partners, they continue empowering Child Life programs and roles, including:
- Hiring essential Child Life Specialists
- Purchasing sensory and educational items as well as adaptive toys and medical teaching dolls
- Supporting art, music, canine, and horticulture therapy programs
- Constructing and renovating playrooms, playgrounds, teen lounges, and family spaces
“At Spirit Halloween, we are in the business of bringing joy to Halloween celebrations everywhere, but what we’re proudest of are the moments of happiness we can deliver to children at pediatric hospitals,” said Steven Silverstein, President and CEO of Spirit Halloween. “The work we do and the funds we raise for families going through difficult times wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations from our guests and vendors. If we can make Halloween a bit brighter for the patients, families, and our hospital partners, that is what matters most.”
To learn more about the Child Life program at Golisano Children’s Hospital and ways to make a difference for young patients, visit LeeHealthFoundation.org/ChildLife.
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 $77 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 2021 Halloween season, Spirit of Children will be supporting more than 150 hospitals across the country, with a goal to raise a record $13 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: SpiritOfChildren.com.
About Golisano Children’s Hospital
Established in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” three consecutive years by The Leapfrog Group. It is the only recognized children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Lee Health opened the new 134-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital in May 2017, relocating the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 70 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S., a recognition determined by popular vote. For more information, visit GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.