Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital patient Jennifer Alvarado, 9, of Fontana, gets a closer look at her face paint during the Spirit Fall Festival on Thursday, Oct 18.

Spirit of Children treated Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital patients and their families to a Fall Festival on Thursday, Oct. 18. Spirit store employees dedicated their afternoon to give patients a fun break from their hospital rooms, complete with costumes, games and crafts.

The mission of Spirit of Children is to make hospitals less scary for kids and their families by providing fun during the fall season and raising funds year-round for child life programs within children’s hospitals.

Spirit of Children chooses to partner with and support child life departments whose main function is to provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medical treatment. Trained child life specialists help children and their families cope with the many stresses involved when a child is in the hospital. These programs are instrumental to the healing process for children and help kids just be kids in times of fear and discomfort. 

Spirit of Children has raised more than $345,660 for Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital over the last eight years — not including funds raised this year — through donations made to Spirit stores in the Inland Empire.