Certified child life specialist Maggie Heimbuch and Child Life Department program manager Becky Drumheller pose for a photo with the check from Spirit Halloween’s Spirit of Children campaign forGeisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.

Certified child life specialist Maggie Heimbuch and Child Life Department program manager Becky Drumheller pose for a photo with the check from Spirit Halloween’s Spirit of Children campaign forGeisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.

DANVILLE, Pa. – Spirit Halloween stores in the area recently held a virtual check presentation to donate the funds raised by their October Spirit of Children campaign. Six local Spirit stores in the area raised $54,964 for the Child Life Department at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital during the 2020 Halloween season.

Those six stores were located in Bloomsburg, Selinsgrove, Muncy, Scranton/Dickson City, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton.

“The Child Life Department was very thankful for this wonderful donation,” said Allison Naumann, annual giving coordinator at Geisinger Health Foundation. “Child Life intends to use the money to purchase new Shadow Buddy dolls and a new camera for milestone photos for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) families.”

The Child Life Department uses Shadow Buddies in many areas of the children’s hospital. Each doll is conditionspecific, reflecting the condition the child has and acting as a hands-on tool to teach them about their illness and treatment. The camera for the NICU will allow families to celebrate milestones such as monthly celebrations, the first time they hold their infants or maybe the first time twins can be together. Spirit raised the money by asking every customer for a donation or if they would like to round up their change to donate as well, according to Jordon Reese, regional manager for Spirit in Central Pennsylvania.

“Our employees are extremely passionate about our program and know how much it impacts their local children’s hospital. We have numerous contests and lots of friendly competition to truly get as big of a donation as possible with our very short season,” he said. “Spirit of Children Halloween care packages were sent to the hospital as well which included costumes, activity coloring books, crayons and treat bags for the Child Life team to distribute.”

This was the third year that Spirit has supported Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. The stores have raised more than $130,000 over that time.