Spirit of Children celebrates decade of giving with $99,917 donation to BMSCH

The Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick received a $99,917 donation from Spirit of Children last week to support its Child Life program.

With the donation, Spirit of Children marked a significant milestone in its ongoing support of BMSCH, surpassing $1 million in donations over a 10-year period.

Each year, Spirit Halloween donates a portion of its store sales through the Spirit of Children program to support the Child Life Department at BMSCH. Since its inception in 2007, Spirit of Children has brought smiles, laughter and a much-needed escape to thousands of pediatric patients in 154 hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. One hundred percent of the money collected each year is given directly to the local Child Life Departments at partner hospitals.

“Spirit of Children has been a valued partner with BMSCH and our Child Life program for more than 10 years,” Barbara Romito, director of Child Life for BMSCH, said. “We see about 30,000 patients each year, whether it is through our emergency department, inpatient units or outpatient programs, which means that Spirit of Children has brought smiles to the faces of 300,000 children during that time. We are deeply grateful for their generosity because Spirit of Children supports the child, not just the patient.”

Tom Aquilino, zone manager for Spirit Halloween, added: “Giving back to the community is very important to us. Every dollar we collect for Spirit of Children goes directly to support the Child Life Departments at our partner hospitals. To be able to make the hospital a little more fun for the kids during their stay is incredibly rewarding.”

Most recently, Spirit of Children has supported the purchase of iPads, laptops and printers to give patients access to virtual programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spirit of Children has also funded an evening Child Life specialist position and supplies for its Creative Arts Therapy program.

Through the years, Spirit of Children’s contributions have helped Child Life purchase much-needed toys and supplies, game systems for all patient rooms at BMSCH, supported the hiring of child life specialist in BMSCH’s pediatric surgical suite and helped make BMSCH’s annual Halloween celebrations for children and families possible.