How Local Spirit Halloween Stores Have Grown CHoR's Child Life Program

kat simons

Halloween might be known as a spooky holiday, but local Spirit Halloween stores are doing a lot to make a difference for young patients receiving care at Children’s Hospital of Richmond. Since 2010, the Richmond-area locations of Spirit Halloween have teamed up to give over $728,000 back to Children’s Hospital Foundation, the fundraising arm of CHoR.

Where those dollars go:

Funds from Spirit Halloween are specifically directed to CHoR’s Child Life program that helps patients and families adjust to and cope with the hospital or clinical setting, illness or injury and the treatments involved, and the dollars have allowed the program to grow in significant ways positively impacting patients and families:

In recent years, the child life department at CHoR has grown from three dedicated staff members to 10 clinically trained specialists. With the increased staffing and funding, more patients and families at CHoR are supported by child life than ever before.Child life specialists are in more hospital departments than ever before, including Acute Care, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Room, Mental and Behavioral Health, outpatient clinics and surgical departments.Child life specialists are also able to purchase various teaching tools and toys to make the hospital experience less scary and more comfortable for children and their families.All of these things have benefited patients like Rylee, a CHoR patient who arrived at the hospital on Halloween in 2019 with incredibly high pressure on her brain. Afraid of the procedures, the Child Life team was able to make Rylee more comfortable during her 10-day hospital stay. (You can read more about Rylee’s story here.)