Feb 22, 2024 Spirit of Children Surpasses $1 Million in Supporting BMSCH with Donation

Spirit of Children Check

Spirit of Children Celebrates a Decade of Giving with $99,917 Donation to The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

(New Brunswick, NJ) - The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital received a generous $99,917 donation from Spirit of Children last week to support its Child Life program.

With the donation, Spirit of Children marked a significant milestone in its ongoing support of BMSCH, surpassing $1 million in donations over a 10-year period.

Each year, Spirit Halloween donates a portion of its store sales through the Spirit of Children program to support the Child Life Department at BMSCH. Since its inception in 2007, Spirit of Children has brought smiles, laughter and a much-needed escape to thousands of pediatric patients in 154 hospitals across the United States and Canada. One hundred percent of the money collected each year is given directly to the local Child Life Departments at partner hospitals.

“Spirit of Children has been a valued partner with BMSCH and our Child Life program for more than 10 years,” said Barbara Romito, MA, CCLS, Director of Child Life for BMSCH. “We see about 30,000 patients each year whether it is through our emergency department, inpatient units or outpatient programs, which means that Spirit of Children has brought smiles to the faces of 300,000 children during that time. We are deeply grateful for their generosity because Spirit of Children supports the child, not just the patient.”

Tom Aquilino, Zone Manager for Spirit Halloween adds, “Giving back to the community is very important to us. Every dollar we collect for Spirit of Children goes directly to support the child life departments at our partner hospitals. To be able to make the hospital a little more fun for the kids during their stay is incredibly rewarding.”

Most recently, Spirit of Children has supported the purchase of iPads, laptops and printers to give patients access to virtual programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spirit of Children has also funded an evening Child Life Specialist position and supplies for its Creative Arts Therapy program.

Through the years, Spirit of Children’s contributions have helped Child Life purchase much-needed toys and supplies, game systems for all patient rooms at BMSCH, supported the hiring of child life specialist in BMSCH’s pediatric surgical suite, and helped make BMSCH’s annual Halloween celebrations for children and families possible.

To learn more on how you can support the Child Life program at BMSCH, contact the RWJ University Hospital Foundation at 732.937.8750.

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), an RWJBarnabas Health Facility, is a 640-bed academic medical center that is New Jersey’s largest academic medical center through its deep partnership with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. RWJUH is the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, a nationally-ranked 2023-24 Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report. Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, orthopedics, bariatric surgery and women’s health. A Level 1 Trauma Center and the first designated Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Recognition for Nursing Excellence and being named to Newsweek’s 2023 list of Best Ambulatory Surgery Centers. The RWJUH Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center has been recognized by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association as meeting The Joint Commission's standards for Disease-Specific Care Comprehensive Stroke Center Advanced Certification. RWJUH has also earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Disease-Specific Care Certification for Spine Surgery; The Joint Commission Gold Seal Certification for Bariatric Services; and The Joint Commission Gold Seal Certification for Hip and Knee Replacement services. The Joint Commission also awarded RWJUH a Gold Seal Certification as well as an Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Implantation.

Contact: Peter Haigney
RWJUH Public Relations
(732) 937-8568