Spirit Halloween donates nearly $30,000 to UC Davis Child Life Program

Check donation © UC Regents
Child Life Program staff gathered to receive a donation of nearly $30,000 from Shanda and Kirk Pierce, owners of One Halloween Nite.

Posted Jan. 12, 2011

The spirit of giving usually is associated with the winter holiday season, but for children at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, last year the spirit arrived early — at Halloween.

That’s when two generous angels bestowed costumes and decorations and held a party for hospitalized children and their siblings.

Now, the same generous business owners who made last Halloween so much fun have given the Child Life Program at UC Davis Children’s Hospital its own gift: a check for $29,335. The gift is from Shanda and Kirk Pierce of Fresno, Calif., who are husband and wife and owners of One Halloween Nite. The business operates the Spirit Halloween superstores in the Sacramento region, temporary stores that appear around Halloween to sell costumes and accessories for trick or treating, décor and parties.

Shanda operates approximately 10 stores in communities such as Folsom, Rocklin, Roseville, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove and Sacramento (a new store is planned for Davis this year). She operates a total of 22 stores statewide south to Orange County.

Shandra and Kirk Pierce © UC Regents“We did our homework and felt that UC Davis Children’s Hospital would be a great place to make our donation.”
— Shanda Pierce, pictured with husband Kirk Pierce

The donated funds were raised entirely by sales associates soliciting contributions from shoppers last Halloween, Shanda said during a visit to the children's hospital to present the donation on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

“This is a wonderful way for us to be able to give back to the communities that we have stores in,” said Shanda, president of One Halloween Nite. “We want to let all of the wonderful people who donated know that the money they gave will help children in their own community. The children who benefit from the donations are their children.”

Pierce said that the donations are part of a nationwide corporate program by the Spirit Halloween superstores that raises more than $2.5 million a year for children’s hospitals across the country. Local store operators select the recipients of donations from the communities where their stores are located.

“We did our homework and felt that UC Davis Children’s Hospital would be a great place to make our donation,” she said.

Shanda said her business also donates to Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera, Calif., and Children’s Hospital Orange County in Santa Ana, Calif.

Shanda and sales associates from local Spirit Halloween stores were on hand last Halloween to fit inpatients and their siblings with costumes. She said the parents were genuinely grateful for the donation.

"The families were so appreciative,” she said. “We had moms crying who were just so touched that all of their children were able to participate in that party that day.”

Diana Sundberg is manager of the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Child Life Program, which helps create a positive and healing environment for children during their hospitalizations.

Sundberg and Pierce chat with nurses © UC Regents
UC Davis Children's Hospital nurses chat with Diana Sundberg (pictured left at the counter) and Shanda Pierce.

“We don't have an operating budget for the activities and supplies we provide for the children and fund these efforts solely through donations,” said Sundberg. “The Spirit of Children Campaign, Shanda and Kirk Pierce, the local store managers and the community far exceeded my expectations on every level.”

“We are exceptionally grateful to Shanda and all the wonderful people who we’ve met from Spirit Halloween who worked so hard to solicit donations and created such a great event for children last year,” Sundberg said.

The mission of the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Child Life Program is to provide a positive environment for hospitalized children, one in which they can grow and develop while receiving medical care. Its goal is to minimize stress and anxiety and strengthen coping skills. The program utilizes play, music, art and education to help children deal with their health-care experiences.

UC Davis Children's Hospital

UC Davis Children's Hospital © UC RegentsUC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only comprehensive hospital for children, serving infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical-care services.

It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for critically ill children.

The 110-bed hospital includes a 49-bed, state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit and a 16-bed pediatric intensive care unit. With more than 120 physicians in 33 subspecialties, UC Davis Children's Hospital has more than 74,000 clinic and hospital visits and 13,000 emergency department visits each year. For more information, visit www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/children.