Making Hospital a Little Less Scary… Spirit Halloween Stores are Open
It’s October—for every Halloween aficionado, that means: pumpkins, candy and costumes! The staff from Spirit Halloween has opened 22 stores across Arizona with all of your Halloween needs, they make the holiday that much more special for the kiddos at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, with 13 years of giving and more than a million raised in support of our Child Life Team.
Since 2007, the Spirit Halloween Team has supported more than 147 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada, donating time, talent and costumes. This isn’t just a time of year that children look forward to, the Spirit staff loves getting involved too! Unfortunately, the uncertainties with COVID-19 has restricted any in-person activities, but that hasn’t stopped the Spirit staff from fundraising at their stores. With the holiday falling on a Saturday, and the community masking up, dressing up for Halloween is looking to be a welcome distraction for many families, and Spirit is still collecting donations by allowing shoppers to round-up their change at registers.
All donations support the Child Life Zone, the happiest place in the Hospital, as well as provide sensory equipment for patients making hospitals a little less scary. Shea Robinson, a Certified Child Life Specialist works with many of these sensory items purchased by Spirit Halloween and gives us some inside scoop into her job this season.
PCH: How long have been with the Hospital and what’s your role with Child Life?
ROBINSON: I’ve worked at Phoenix Children’s Hospital since 2011 as a Certified Child Life Specialist.
PCH: What are some of your favorite things about Child Life?
ROBINSON: What I love about Child Life is that it is a service available to all children in the hospital, with the goal of making a tough situation more successful for everyone involved. It’s great to see kids overcome their fears and conquer new challenges, and to see the joy of just being a kid when they play and have fun here in the hospital. Even on hard days, I know that my team tried to make that day the best it could be.
PCH: Can you share how the need for sensory items came about? And the significance of having them?
ROBINSON: We know that almost all children learn and grow through sensory input, like hands on play. But typical toys sometimes fall short for children who have diverse developmental needs. These kids may be better supported with toys and items that provide stronger sensory involvement, through texture, light, sound, or weight. It’s part of Phoenix Children’s vision to make sure we’re providing the most beneficial environment for children of all abilities when they visit us, and having these items available means we’ll be able to better meet the unique needs of all the children we serve.
PCH: What is the most popular costume in the hospital?
ROBINSON: Superheroes are always a favorite, and we love our princesses, too!
PCH: Can you describe Reverse Trick or Treating since that is what the Hospital is doing this year?
ROBINSON: For reverse Trick or Treating, the nursing and support staff will pick up a bucket of treats (non-edible Halloween-themed giveaway items) from the playroom on their floors and go room-to-room, knocking on doors of patients who are participating. When a patient opens his/her door, they will say “Trick or Treat!” and the nurse will give the patient his/her treat.
We really enjoyed our time speaking with Shea and truly appreciate everything she does for our patients. When she’s not helping make kid’s smile, Robinson enjoys spending time with her family, including her three funny Boston terriers pictured above. They’re already breaking in their Halloween costumes and we love it!
Just by shopping at these Spirit Halloween locations you can give back to Phoenix Children’s by using this coupon below, purchasing an icon or buying a bracelet at check out or just rounding up your change. Every penny counts! For more information on Spirit Halloween go to: www.spirithalloween.com
To get 10% percent off your purchase at Spirt Halloween, with 10% of your purchase going back to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, download the coupon below.
Written by: Patty Barney
Q&A Guest: Shea Robinson
Imagine you’re 6 years old. After a terrifying accident, you were pried from a car, whisked into an ambulance and rushed to the trauma center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. All you can see are glaring lights and the faces of people you don’t know. Doctors are urgently giving orders. Nurses are putting a mask over your face and needles in your arm. You can‘t breathe; you’re disoriented, and no one knows your name yet. Your tears spill over and you begin to panic. Then, a Child Life Specialist enters the room. Everything changes.