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Trick-or-Treat Drive-Through Delights Shriners Children's Spokane Patients

It was all treats and no tricks at the 2021 Shriners Children's Spokane drive-through Halloween party.

Due to COVID-19, staff altered the popular party among patients to be a safe and socially distanced, outdoor trick-or-treat event.

Patients and their families drove through the front of the decorated Spokane Shriners Hospital and received costumes, pumpkins, crafts, hats, candy and more. Spirit Halloween helps host this party every year for children who otherwise might not be able to participate in traditional Halloween celebrations.

“It just brings a special surprise to patients that they were not expecting,” said Recreational Therapist Larissa Sims. “This was a way for them to get out of the house and to celebrate as a family.”

Funding from this event came from the Spokane community through Spirit of Children donations at Spirit Halloween locations. One hundred percent of local donations stayed in our community and helps to support the Spokane Shriners Children’s Child Life Program. In 2020, the Greater Inland Northwest region raised about $96,000. In 2021, the goal was to surpass $100,000! To date, the Spirit of Children Foundation has raised more than $550,000 for Shriners Children's Spokane.

The child life department makes the hospital experience easier and more comfortable for young patients and their families by providing all non-medical treatment and healing through play. In the past, the grants have funded art projects, hospital room entertainment systems, a teen room and a teen formal dance.

Though different this year than a traditional party, the Spirit Halloween Party was a great success.

Trick-or-treat drive-through delights Shriners Children's Spokane patients

It was all treats and no tricks at the 2021 Shriners Children's Spokane drive-through Halloween party.
View Transcript

Larissa Sims:

So behind me is a rack of costumes that have been donated by the Spirit Halloween stores. It's really fun to get all these costumes and accessories for Halloween for the kids. We get to do a party, which will be outdoors this year. It just brings a special surprise to the kids while they're here that's something they're not expecting.

Patients are very excited. They love to see what the options are. And there's so many times we can pick out, find a costume that's exactly what they wanted to dress up as. We've been working with the Spirit Halloween stores. I think this is our year doing this party and the fundraisers that they do. And something they're very passionate about is our hospital and our children and doing what they can to make it something special for the kids while they're here. Something that they love to do in their stores and love to find out all the things that are are going on from the donations.

But it is very important that kids have good experiences when they're in a medical facility. So everybody, when they're at Spirit Halloween, when they're checking out, get the opportunity to donate to Shriners, to the Child Life program. So they can donate at the register or they can donate also by printing out the coupons. If you get a coupon, it gives you 10% off of your purchase, and 10% goes back to the hospital.

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