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With the donation, Spirit of Children marked a milestone in its ongoing support, surpassing $350,000 in total donations to Children’s & Women’s Hospital.

Published Mar 5th, 2024

By Casandra Andrews

USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital received a generous $55,000 donation from Spirit of Children recently to support its Mapp Child and Family Life Program.

With the donation, Spirit of Children marked a milestone in its ongoing support, surpassing $350,000 in total donations to the USA Health hospital. Each year, Spirit Halloween stores donate a portion of their sales through the Spirit of Children program to support the child and family life program. The funds come from donations made by shoppers at Mobile- and Baldwin-area Spirit Halloween locations and on

“We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from Spirit of Children,” said Kim Thompson-Yates, who leads the Mapp Child and Family Life Program at Children’s & Women’s Hospital. “This funding, along with yearly donations of costumes and other items help us to make sure our patients and their caregivers have positive experiences during their hospital stays.”

USA Health’s child life specialists provide procedural preparation and support, therapeutic play and other therapeutic activities for pediatric patients receiving hospital and emergency department care. They strive to create a safe, supportive environment for children, their families, and caregivers as they manage the stress of a hospital visit.

Specifically, the Mapp Child and Family Life department uses the Spirit of Children donations to fund programs including Beads of Courage and the sensory-friendly programming and equipment including tactile toys, light shows and sound machines. Beads of Courage is an initiative that combines art and medicine for oncology and neonatal intensive care unit patients. Through the creation of a chain of beads, a child’s stay can be documented in a tangible way. Patients receive different beads for procedures, activities and other milestones met while hospitalized. For example, if a child has an X-ray, or gets a shot, they receive a unique bead.

Most recently, Spirit of Children funds were used to purchase a state-of-the-art mobile sensory station for use in a dedicated sensory room within the hospital’s new pediatric emergency center.

“Spirit of Children is a valued partner with our hospital," said Debbie Browning, MSN, RN, CENP, hospital CEO. “For a child, being able to select a costume and get dressed up is a rite of passage that should not be neglected just because they happen to be sick or injured. Through this generous, ongoing support, our staff can help create a fun atmosphere at the hospital as we celebrate the not-so-scary aspects of Halloween and other special occasions throughout the year.”

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