Funds received during Child’s Life Month support patients during hospital stays
March 14, 2022 — Spirit Halloween presented a check for $69,496 to child life professionals at 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 donated $4,000 in costumes, decorations and crafts, helping to make Halloween fun and the hospital less frightening for hospitalized children during the holidays.
March is Child Life Month, a month when hospitals celebrate child life specialists and the child life profession through education and awareness of their work. Certified Child Life Specialists bring joy and comfort to hospitalized children and their families through evidence-based techniques such as medical play and therapeutic disciplines to help normalize the hospital experience.
Spirit of Children has donated over $322,000 since partnering with Golisano Children’s Hospital. Last year’s donation was used to equip sensory rooms that help patients with special needs cope with hospital stays and doctor’s appointments. Sensory rooms include fiber optic lights, bubble towers, exercise balls and lots of squeeze balls with different textures. Even simple toys can calm a child in a new environment.
“The ability to purchase sensory items with funds donated by Spirit of Children helps bring comfort and familiarity to this special population,” said Stacie Kmetz, Certified Child Life Specialist and Events Coordinator, Golisano Children’s Hospital. “A family recently visited the sedation unit and they were very nervous to bring their child to a new, possibly scary setting. Our child life specialist was able to meet them when they arrived and provide them with sensory objects to comfort the child.
Spirit of Children is dedicated to making hospitals less scary for children and their families by partnering with child life departments working to create more comfortable hospital environments. Through donations collected from Spirit Halloween stores and supplier partners, they continue to strengthen Child Life’s programs and roles, including:
- Hire essential child life specialists
- Purchase of sensory and educational items as well as adaptive toys and medical teaching dolls
- Support art, music, canine and horticultural therapy programs
- Build and renovate playrooms, playgrounds, teen lounges and family spaces
“At Spirit Halloween, we strive to bring joy to Halloween celebrations everywhere, but what we’re most proud of are the happy times we can bring to children in children’s 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 would not be possible without the generous donations of our guests and vendors. If we can make Halloween a little brighter for patients, families and our hospital partners, that’s what matters most.
To learn more about the Child Life program at Golisano Children’s Hospital and how to make a difference for young patients, visit LeeHealthFoundation.org/ChildLife.
About the minds of children
At the heart of Spirit Halloween is Spirit of Children, a program that aims to make hospitals less scary for children and their families. Since its inception in 2006, Spirit of Children has raised over $77 million for the Child Life service in hospitals across the United States and Canada. Donations to Spirit of Children stay in local communities, with 100% of funds going to Child Life Services. For the 2021 Halloween season, Spirit of Children will support more than 150 hospitals across the country, with the goal of raising a record $13 million. Spirit encourages customers to help make a difference in a child’s life this Halloween season by donating to their local Spirit Halloween or raising awareness via Facebook and Instagram using #SpiritofChildren and #MoreCowbell in their photos. For more information, please visit: SpiritOfChildren.com.
About Golisano Children’s Hospital
Founded in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital in Southwest Florida has been named “Top Hospital” three years in a row 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, moving the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It has comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk laboratory, regional perinatal intensive care center and neonatal intensive care level II unit and III with 70 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the United States, a recognition determined by popular vote. For more information, visit GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.