I cruised through the Spirit Halloween store that recently opened in Denver’s Cherry Creek in the old Andrison Morton’s women’s clothing store location.  I was trying to get a head start on my Halloween costume and found a sword that will be perfect.  When I went to buy it, the cashier asked if I would like to donate $2 to the “Spirit of Children” to benefit seriously ill children at Children’s Hospital.  I said sure and was given a treat bag with the Spirit logo and the opportunity to fill out a pumpkin flyer with my name indicating that I had made a donation.  They even rang a bell to “announce” my donation.  On my way out, I noticed there were two large posters behind the cash registers on the wall about the company’s support of kids for Halloween.

When I got home, I checked out their website to see if I could learn more.  The mission statement is “At the heart of Spirit Halloween is the Spirit of Children program, which is devoted to bringing the fun and fantasy of Halloween to children everywhere. The goal is to bring the outside world in to the pediatric patients at hospitals and rehabilitation centers across the nation.”  In 2008, Spirit celebrations were hosted in 50 hospitals in communities across the nation. Over $700,000 in cash and merchandise was donated to this worthy cause.  The goal for 2009 is $825,000 in donations and merchandise for 54 hospitals.

“100% of the money collected and items purchased for the events were donated to the child life departments within the hospitals participating in the Spirit of Children program. Child life departments seek to improve the experience for patients in pediatric centers. Items ranging from flat screen TV’s, DVD players, DVDs, video games, CDs, computers, entertainment centers, baby seats, games and more were purchased with the money raised by Spirit of Children.”  The website also gives links to newspaper articles, TV clips and thank you notes received for this three year old program.

I was impressed with what this seasonal store chain does to support children.  This is a great example of a company asking its customers to joint forces with them to support a cause by making a small financial contribution.  Great job Spirit Halloween!!  You brightened my day hearing about this and undoubtably you brighten the day of many children in your 50+ hospitals around the country.