Spirit of generosity nurtures long-time partnership benefitting our youngest patients


Infinity Wright in her Halloween
costume, courtesy of the Spirit of
Halloween organization.

Infinity Wright spent the first nine months of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix and in the pediatric ICU at Banner Children’s at Desert. She was discharged just a few days before Halloween 2020, and the Child Life Specialists could not let her go home without encouraging her parents to pick out a Halloween outfit for Infinity and her two older siblings, courtesy of the Spirit of Children organization.

“Being able to provide costume options to the family was one small thing we could do to remove something from their to-do list for that week,” says Rose Campbell, a Child Life specialist at Banner Children’s at Desert. “We are so grateful to Spirit of Children for allowing us opportunities to give meaningful moments, opportunities to dress up, celebrate, and have fun to our patients and their families.”

The fundraising arm of retailer Spirit Halloween, Spirit of Children brings fun and funding to local hospitals at Halloween and all year long by providing charitable donations, Halloween costumes, accessories, decorations and more. Their mission is to make hospitals less scary for kids and their families through support of the Child Life department at partner hospitals in our local communities.

“Seeing the toys, devices, therapy and development programs that our donations support, and making a difference in family’s lives, is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” says Jason Blanchard, a local Arizona district manager for Spirit Halloween. “And, the amazing teams of Child Life specialists are true heroes. Thank you for everything that you do for the kids.”

In January 2021, Banner Children’s at Desert and Diamond Children’s Medical Center in Tucson celebrated a major milestone in their nine-year partnership with Spirit of Children: More than $1 million collectively donated by Spirit of Children to the two pediatric medical centers.

“Spirit of Children is committed to supporting Child Life programs across the country,” says Sarah Frost, Chief Executive Officer of Banner – University Medical Centers Tucson and South. “Their generous gifts have provided incredible support for our youngest patients in times of great need, vulnerability, and uncertainty.”

Every hospital has unique needs at different times and Child Life directors try to meet the challenges accordingly. The support from Spirit of Children has helped to purchase computers, televisions and sensory equipment; create playrooms and family spaces; and has provided art, music, pet and aquatic therapies. The goal is to ensure that children are receiving the best care and resources while in the hospital, while also helping their families cope with the stresses of injury or illness.

“Donors like Spirit of Children are so important, giving families opportunities to simply be a family and to celebrate the little joys wrapped up in each day,” Campbell says.