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The Spirit of Children: Fun and funding for hospitals

Laura Willard is a law school grad who has successfully avoided using her education for eight years and counting. She's a wife and an adoptive mom to two kids. Motherhood is the best job she never knew she wanted so much until she had it...

Helping children at Halloween and all year

For typical kids, Halloween is all about picking out a costume, hitting the neighborhood with an empty plastic pumpkin and collecting as much candy as possible.
Helping children at Halloween and all year

For children in hospitals, life isn't as carefree as trick-or-treating. Enter The Spirit of Children, a charitable program run by Spirit Halloween headquarters.

When children are confined to a hospital, their main focus — and that of their families — is to get well. But that doesn't mean that the fun parts of childhood don't matter.

That's why Spirit Halloween headquarters began a charitable program in 2007 called The Spirit of Children. Since its inception, Spirit has raised over $7 million for 120 children's hospitals. It provides "fun during Halloween and funding all year long" to help make hospitals less scary for kids and their families.

How it works

Helping children at Halloween and all year

Every year, Spirit works with its vendors to sponsor and host Halloween parties in children's hospitals all over the country. From costumes to goody bags, Spirit team members show up with the party. Children who can't hit the streets to trick-or-treat because they are hospitalized still have a chance to get in the "spirit" of Halloween.

Beyond the party, Spirit collects money through its in-store fundraising campaigns. The Spirit website explains the big picture: "What makes this program so unique is that at the end of each season, every dollar, 100 percent of the money collected in our stores or donated by our loyal and passionate customers and vendor partners is given to the Child Life departments."

What you can do

If you want to help, you can make a donation in any Spirit Halloween retail store, or you can go to the Spirit website to donate online.

More about giving back

Tips for organizing local fundraisers
6 Ways to embrace philanthropy
Volunteer opportunities for teens

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