Spirit of Children program at CHOP helps patients enjoy Halloween

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Saturday, October 20, 2018
Spirit of Children program at CHOP helps patients enjoy Halloween
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Spirit of Children program at CHOP helps patients enjoy Halloween. Julia Rae reports during Action News at 5 a.m. on October 20, 2018.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Trick or treating is just around the corner, and patients at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have one thing on their minds.

"I just love candy! I just love candy," says Qua'mere Tuten, a patient at CHOP.

"Getting a lot of candy and dressing up," Brianna Hopkins adds.

Specialty retail store Spirit Halloween runs the Spirit of Children program to partner with Children's hospitals across the nation to bring costumes, crafts, and games directly to the kids.

"Every child wants to participate in Halloween, if you're in the hospital and can't go trick or treating, that's a bummer, so we provide the ability for kids in hospitals to have that Halloween fun while here," says Rick Tereo, the team lead for the Spirit of Children program.

Spirit of Children has raised more than $580,000 to date for CHOP's Child Life Program.

"Child life is all about normalizing a patient and family experience here," says Matt Piontkowski, Special Events Coordinator for Child Life.

This year, Spirit of Halloween is normalizing the holiday for every child, despite their physical limitations, by making wheelchair costumes available online.

"I get goosebumps just from being here and seeing the kids smile, just brings happiness to them even if it's one day or one moment," says Dan Kuppert, the store manager of the Spirit of Halloween in Egg Harbor Township.

Sharee Davis, the mom of a CHOP patient, knows firsthand how days like today change the experience for these children.

"They'll get a chance to step out of whatever they're going through," she says.

Spirits have been lifted thanks to the mission of Spirit of Children, and their partnership with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. To learn more about Child Life, visit the CHOP website.


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