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Pediatric patients celebrate Halloween early

Pediatric patients and their families at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital enjoyed a Halloween party, complete with costumes, games and crafts. Spirit Halloween, a Halloween specialty retailer, hosted the Oct. 16 event to help young patients, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in Halloween celebrations, experience the fun of the season.

Spirit Halloween has raised more than $489,832 for the Children’s Hospital’s Child Life program since 2010 through its Spirit of Children program. Shoppers can donate at Spirit Halloween stores or at

Spirit Halloween representatives will present a check to the Children’s Hospital in January.

The party was one of nearly 100 Halloween parties that Spirit Halloween hosted at pediatric hospitals across the U.S. and Canada this season. Since 2007, the Spirit of Children program has raised more than $55 million for Child Life departments at 140 partner hospitals. The program has a goal of $10 million dollars this year.

Child Life staff helps make the hospital experience easier and more comfortable for young patients and their families by providing all non-medical treatment and healing through play.

Grants provided by Spirit of Children enable the hospital staff to acquire tools, education and training. The funds also assist in hiring additional Child Life staff, extending Child Life hours of operation and providing full-time Child Life specialists in the Emergency Department. The money raised helps purchase educational and entertainment items such as iPads and toys used for distraction during procedures. In addition, Spirit of Children funding has helped hospitals create dedicated playrooms, teen lounges and separate family spaces for long hospital visits.

Spirit of Children party

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