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Making Hospital Stays Less Scary


According to the National Retail Federation, more than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, spending an average $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34. Total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the history of NRF’s annual survey. The survey finds that 7 in 10 consumers plan to hand out candy, and nearly half will decorate their home or dress in costume.

When you think of Halloween decorations or costumes, think Lubbock’s Spirit Halloween Superstore on 50th Street near Slide Road. The local Halloween retailer, along with its corporate Spirit of Children program, has been giving back part of the seasonal profits to benefit Covenant Children’s Child Life program.

“Spirit of Children is a national program that brings fun and funding to hospitals at Halloween and all year long,” said Christine Neugebauer, manager of integrative care at Covenant Children’s. “It benefits hospitals that focus on kids to help make hospital stays less scary for children and their families.”

With the appropriate coupon, Spirit Halloween Superstore in Lubbock gives customers 10 percent off their purchase as well as donating 10 percent of the purchase price back to Covenant’s Child Life Department. Also, customers are asked at checkout if they want to donate individually to the charity; those proceeds go directly to Covenant’s Child Life department as well. All of the money raised allows the department to purchase toys and other items that provide pain distraction and therapeutic play to young patients.

The retailer also hosts a Halloween party for pediatric patients and their families each year at Covenant Children’s, complete with costumes, games and crafts. This year’s party took place Oct. 13.

Since 2010, the Spirit of Children program and Spirit Halloween Superstore has raised more than $65,600 in cash donations for Covenant Children’s, as well as provided more than $35,000 in merchandise for the annual parties.

“We are so grateful for both the community and the corporate contributions,” Neugebauer said. “In fact, we have a young lady doing a fellowship, who is working full time for six months in the emergency department, and is paid 100 percent by this charity. Since the fellowship started in August, she has already helped 761 children in the emergency department! This really does make a difference.”

About Spirit of Children

At the heart of Spirit Halloween is the Spirit of Children program which focuses on making hospitals less scary for kids and their families. Since its inception in 2006, Spirit of Children has brought smiles, laughter and a much needed escape to thousands of pediatric patients in 139 hospitals across the United States and Canada. One hundred percent of the money collected each year is given directly to the local Child Life Departments at partner hospitals, such as Covenant Children’s. Spirit of Children’s goal is to raise $7.8 million this year, bringing its total contribution total to more than $37 million since the program’s inception. Spirit encourages customers to head to their local Spirit Halloween store or visit online to make a difference in a child’s life today.

This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please seek medical advice from your physician for any related medical condition. If you are in need of a primary care doctor, click here to find one in the Covenant Health network.

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