UC Davis Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department will continue to train individuals to become certified child life specialists at UC Davis Children's Hospital, thanks to a generous donation by Spirit Halloween Superstores.
Kirk and Shanda Pierce, who operate the Halloween pop-up stores in Sacramento, donated $68,055 in a check presentation last week.
The funds pay for child life fellows to work in various parts of the hospital, including the emergency room, pediatric intensive care unit, children's surgery center, pediatric infusion room and pediatrics unit, under the supervision of certified child life specialists. Five child life fellows have completed the program.
"From the beginning, we wanted to use this donation to do something really special and it felt right to put a program in place that would serve the most children. That has become our fellowship program, which was made possible by Spirit Halloween Superstores," said Diana Sundberg, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy manager.
"I feel it's our way of giving back to the community that gives us so much," said Shanda Pierce. "When we were trying to find a hospital [to partner with], we wanted a place where we could do the most good. Prayerfully, now I know. This was just meant to be and the money is really going to a place that needed it."
The donation is part of a nationwide corporate program by Spirit Halloween Superstores that raises millions of dollars each year for children's hospitals across the country. Spirit Halloween Superstores also donates a Halloween party for children's hospital inpatients and their siblings. Last October, Spirit Halloween Superstores threw a Halloween party for UC Davis patients and siblings, which included free costumes, decorations, arts and crafts, and a visit from the Power Rangers.