Young patients at Children’s Hospital of Michigan got their boo on, as Spirit of Children, Spirit Halloween’s charitable foundation, brought costumes and Halloween activities to the southeast Michigan children’s hospital.
Dozens of children picked out costumes and crafts, like 4-year-old Asher Dolega of Franklin, who has been at Children’s Hospital of Michigan for more than a month after experiencing a brain-bleed and stroke-like symptoms. He picked out a blue ninja costume from the pop-up for patients, helped by Spirit Halloween store volunteers.
“He was worried about not getting candy and not getting to dress up, but it’s so nice that they’re doing this,” said his mom, Lauren Dolega. “Being here every day for this long, for over a month, is exhausting for both us and him. So to have new activities and special events to get him out of his room and to get to do something different is really, really great.”
Spirit of Children teamed up with The Children’s Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Children’s Hospital of Michigan, for Wednesday’s event. Through the generous donations of vendor partners, Spirit of Children will provide more than 35,000 costumes to its pediatric hospital partners like Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Hospital staff and Spirit of Children volunteers are also teaming up to bring a variety of special events, including costume parties and trick-or-treat celebrations like the one today, to hospitals throughout the United States and Canada.
The event brings some normalcy to hospitalized children missing school costume parades, class parties and trick-or-treating, said Children’s Hospital of Michigan Child Life Specialist Sinead Nimmo.
“Opportunities for fun experiences like the Spirit of Children celebration are so important in helping kids cope with illness and hospitalization,” Nimmo said.
“It can help ease the feelings of isolation and loneliness that we often see when kids are in the hospital around important, celebratory times of the year. Getting to choose a costume and do fun activities can help kids feel better and like they’re not missing out.”
Shoppers at Spirit Halloween stores or SpiritHalloween.com who use a 10% off coupon available here trigger a 10% donation to their local children’s hospital by Spirit of Children.
Since the foundation’s inception in 2006, Spirit of Children has raised more than $110 million for its partner hospitals through the incredible generosity of Spirit Halloween supporters. With a 2023 goal of raising $18 million, 100% of these funds will support Child Life departments at 159 pediatric hospitals throughout North America – its most hospital partners ever.
“I could never have imagined the impact Spirit of Children would have when we first started this program, but through the incredible efforts of our team and unwavering support from our guests, we were able to eclipse $110 million in total donations last year, an incredible achievement,” said Steven Silverstein, CEO of Spirit Halloween and Founder of Spirit of Children. “Halloween is especially magical for children. For children in hospitals, a Halloween celebration brings joy and fun during a scary time.”
Andrew Stein, president and CEO of The Children’s Foundation, said support for the young patients is incredible.
“The Child Life team is essential to kids and families processing diagnosis, treatment, and hospital stays,” Stein said. “And it is because of generous philanthropic partners like Spirit Halloween that wellness efforts like this one supporting the whole child exist.”
To learn more about Spirit of Children please visit SpiritofChildren.com.
Special thanks to Children’s Hospital of Michigan Communications Manager Tammy Battaglia for contributing this article to SocialHouseNews.com.