Members of Spirit of Children pose with Nicklaus Children's Hospital Child Life specialists during yesterday's event.

MIAMI, Oct. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — This year, Spirit of Children, the fundraising arm of Spirit Halloween specialty retail stores across America, has reached its $1 million milestone in donations to support the Child Life program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. With a mission to make hospitals less scary for kids and their families, Spirit of Children brings fun and funding to hospitals on Halloween and all year round through monetary donations, as well as by providing costumes, accessories, decorations, and most needs for a Halloween party – including volunteers from local Spirit Halloween stores.

Spirit of Children reaches $1 million in donations to support the Child Life program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Yesterday’s event at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital offered patients and their families a break from the challenges of being in a hospital by allowing them the opportunity to celebrate Halloween with a costume party, reverse trick-or-treating, a seasonal parade, and other fun activities. Spirit of Children added to the fun by donating activity books, crayons, and treat bags, ensuring everyone gets a chance to enjoy Halloween this year – even those that couldn’t join in on the fun in the lobby.

“Everyone at Spirit Halloween is incredibly dedicated to supporting Spirit of Children and helping to sustain the Child Life Programs at our partner hospitals throughout the year,” said Steven Silverstein, CEO of Spirit Halloween. “What is most important to us is that, through the events and activities, children and their families have the opportunity to celebrate during the Halloween season and experience a sense of normalcy during a very trying time.”

Child Life specialists play a vital role in helping sick children and their families cope with what can be a complex and challenging time in the hospital. While an estimated 50 percent to 75 percent of children develop fear or anxiety before and during a hospital stay, patients who benefit from Child Life services experience less emotional distress, better coping during the hospital stay, and a more positive physical recovery.

“At Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, our Child Life specialists help normalize the hospital experience for children and promote the best possible outcomes through different interventions and activities, including play,” explained Matthew A. Love, president and CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System. “These individuals are crucial to the work that goes on behind the scenes at our hospital, so we thank Spirit of Children and Spirit Halloween for the funding they provide to expand on the work that we do.”

Support from Spirit of Children’s allows Nicklaus Children’s to add staff, extend hours, and provide a wide variety of therapy programs and sensory times to equip staff with the resources needed to support patients throughout the year.

To support the Child Life program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, visit https://www.nicklauschildrens.org/patient-resources/family-centered-care-services/child-life.

About Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with approximately 800 attending physicians, including more than 500 pediatric subspecialists. The 309-bed hospital, known as Miami Children’s Hospital from 1983 through 2014, is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with many specialty programs routinely ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since 2008. In the 2022-2023 ranking, the hospital tied with two other hospitals as the number one children’s hospital in Florida. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and since 2003 has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor. For more information, please visit www.nicklauschildrens.org

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 2007, Spirit of Children has raised more than $93 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 2022 Halloween season, Spirit of Children will be supporting more than 150 hospitals across the country, with a goal to raise a record $18 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: www.SpiritOfChildren.com.

About Spirit Halloween

Spirit Halloween (SpiritHalloween.com) is the largest Halloween retailer in the country, with over 1,450 locations in strip centers and malls across North America. Celebrating more than 39 years of business, Spirit is the premier destination for all things Halloween, offering one-stop shopping for everything from costumes to décor and party goods to accessories. In addition to being a fun and interactive event for shoppers, Spirit stores offer complete selections of costumes and accessories for infants/toddlers, children, ‘tweens, teens, and adults, along with exclusive décor you won’t find anywhere else. For more information, please visit: SpiritHalloween.com.

For more information:

Fuad Kiuhan

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

fuad.kiuhan@nicklaushealth.org

786 449 4797

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SOURCE Nicklaus Children’s Health System

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