UVA Children’s Hospital still bringing the spirit of Halloween to its halls

UVA Children’s Hospital still bringing the spirit of Halloween to its halls
UVA Children's Hospital packs dozens of bags to help sick children celebrate Halloween.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -Halloween is on Saturday and children currently at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital will be celebrating with onesies, coloring books and, of course, candy.

Despite the pandemic, the halls at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital are still filled with the spirit of Halloween.

“To practice social distancing we’re not able to have the visitors that we would be used to having, so we reached out to our volunteers, to our amazing people in the community, and they came up with an idea to put together some Halloween goodie bags,” Karin Skeen, with UVA’s Children’s Hospital, said.

The goodie bags include bubbles, books, Play-Doh and more.

“Activities for older children to make pumpkins. For the babies, they have little onesies, so very appropriate for their ages and what their interest might be," Skeen said.

Lanie Veckman is on the advisory board for the children’s hospital and says seeing sick children stare out their window just wishing they could celebrate with friends is one of the hardest parts of her role.

“But the most fun part is actually getting to try to make the holidays in the hospital a little more fun for people who are in a really tough situation," Veckman said.

It is not just Halloween, there is a team of Child Life Services people who work to make each day a little more special for the kids.

“It’s a group of people who essentially dedicated themselves to the well being, not necessarily the physical health, but the emotional and mental health of patients, particularly the children," Veckman said.

Fulfilling a purpose that turns this hair-raising holiday into peaceful pastime.

“We want them to have interaction with community, interaction with distraction. How can we get their mind off of the fact that they’re not in their normal home environment?" Skeen said.

The coronavirus cannot entirely stop the costumes as the annual Halloween costume contest at the hospital is still set for this Friday, October 30.

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