Meridian Spirit Halloween Store Hopes to Raise $20,000 for St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital
Let's face it. There are some GREAT Spirit Halloween memes on the internet. In fact, just a couple hours into the great Facebook Outage of 2021, someone created this masterpiece:
While the seasonal Halloween stores have long endured jokes about how quickly they move into vacant storefronts, the truth is they are INCREDIBLE assets to our community. Yes, they're an incredible resource for finding the perfect costume for a trunk-or-treat event or Halloween party, but there's something else happening inside the store that you may miss if you've got your head down while you're shopping.
Since 2006, Spirit Halloween stores have been asking customers to donate to their "Spirit of Children" fundraising campaign. At the end of Halloween season, 100% of the funds they collect are then given to the Child Life Department at participating hospitals to make the time kids spend in the hospital less scary.
When it comes to stores in the Boise district, that means 100% of the money is going directly to the only children's hospital in the state, St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Downtown Boise. With the funds provided by Spirit Halloween, St. Luke's can purchase things like blankets, stuffed animals, kinetic sand, Play-doh, coloring books and other items that help provide kids with a little comfort of home during their stay at the hospital.
Seeing these gifts in action is something Luke Anorak-Neill, the manager of Meridian's Spirit Halloween store, has experienced first hand. Luke's daughter, Pim, was born with an incomplete stomach, so the family has spent quite a bit of time in gastroenterology on the fourth floor learning to the best ways to manage Pim's condition. The funds from last year's "Spirit of Children" campaign went to help buy toys for this floor and Anorak-Neill told us how rewarding it was to see the toys St. Luke's talked about buying with the funds in action.
Pim also has a condition where she experiences something similar to seizures, so at 8 months she and her parents had to spend a week at St. Luke's Children's Hospital to monitor the occurrences. During that stay, the Child Life Department was instrumental in making the stay a little bit easier on the family. Due to COVID, only one parent could be at the hospital at a time, so the staff would keep Pim company long enough to allow whichever parent was present to go grab lunch in the cafeteria. They were able to access a baby bouncer that allowed Pim to play outside of her crib while she was hooked up to her monitors. She got to go home with a stuffed bear and blanket from St. Luke's and still plays with it at two years old.
That personal connection to the Children's Hospital is why Anorack-Neill has set the Meridian store's fundraising goal at $20,000 in 2021. To help reach that goal, the store is organizing a special event this upcoming Saturday, October 16 from 3-5 p.m.
The heroes from the Treasure Valley Avengers will be at the store meeting and taking photos with families who've stepped up to make a donation to the Spirit of Children fund. Costumes, whether you bring one from home or buy one to change into while shopping, are encouraged.
If you can't make Saturday's event or live closer to the stores in Boise or Nampa, you can still donate to St. Luke's Children's Hospital through the other locations. Collectively, the Treasure Valley Spirit locations have a goal of raising $100,000 in 2021. It's a big increase from the district's donation of $65,339 from 2020 but they're confident that by making more people aware of the fund that they can reach their goal!