Store hopes to give kids in hospital Halloween fun

Store hopes to give kids in hospital Halloween fun

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Candy overloads and playing dress up are just days away, as kids in the Valley await Halloween fun.

One organization hopes to bring those same joys to kids getting medical treatment.

While it may not be the typical door to door experience, donations from customers of the Spirit Halloween store in Columbus will help kids in the hospital get to "trick of treat down the halls," all the while showing them that while there may be spooky things this time of year, the hospital isn't one of them.

Even though superheroes and princesses are popular choices, it's Spirit of Children bracelets that are flying off the selves at Spirit Halloween in Columbus.

"Halloween is supposed to be 'scary-fun' but it's not fun in a hospital so we do whatever we can to bring the joy to them," said manager Rachel Carlisle.

The Spirit of Children initiative has raised more than $22,000,000 for kids across the country, with 100 percent of donations going directly to local hospitals.

In the last eight years, the Columbus location has collected more than $34,000 for the Children's Hospital at Columbus Regional Health, and this year, donations are still going strong.

"One of the things that's challenging is when a child's here for Halloween they miss out on getting to celebrate with their friends and go trick or treating," said Mary Johnson with the Columbus Regional Health Foundation.

It is an exciting time for young ones that employees at Spirit Halloween see every day.

"They get so excited running in here, they love it when we're in costume too, but we have some kids that come in and try on costumes and we can't get them out of it," said Carlisle.

Money collected goes towards Columbus Regional's Child Life program that put on events like a trick or treat down the halls event scheduled for this Friday, to help kids have as normal of life as possible while seeking care.

"Child life is really a program that's designed to make the hospital a little less scary place for kids," said Johnson.

Officials with the children's hospital also say the Spirit Halloween store plans to donate costumes in addition to the money they've collected. Last year the store brought in more than $8,000.

You can visit the Spirit Halloween store at 5300 Veterans Parkway to donate.

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