PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– It’s less than two weeks until Halloween, and that means stores are packed with potential princesses and superheroes. Wednesday, we went to one store that’s a place with a bigger purpose.
Six-year-old Emma Witting couldn’t wait to get to that costume shop.
“She was waiting at the door of her room since like 10 o’clock, just counting the minutes,” her mother Theresa Witting said.
Hannah Stetson and her dad Fred found the selection was downright daunting.
“I don’t know,” Hannah said. “There’s too much stuff to choose.”
“It’s pretty overwhelming,” agreed Hannah’s father, Fred Stetson. “It’s like being in a real store.”
But it wasn’t a traditional store. This pop-up place was in the atrium of CHOP. Local donors helped fill the coffers to pay for a one-day shopping spree set up by Spirit Halloween.
“Our baby is in the NICU. We delivered on the special delivery unit. We had surgery while he was in utero,” said Carrie Grant of South Carolina.
Grant, who was browsing costumes with her 2-year-old twins, says despite their health struggles, life goes on and events like this one help a lot.
“Continue our bills and everything in South Carolina and still maintain a happy family lifestyle in Philadelphia,” she says.
“Children who are within the hospital can come here, pick out a costume, paint a pumpkin, get their face painted, have a great time while they’re in the hospital.”
said Erin Springer of Spirit Halloween. “For Children’s Hospital specifically, we’ve raised $504,000 since 2007, and that happens through donations in store.”
Jami Tomczyk, 15, has been at CHOP on IVs for a few days, so she says it’s great Halloween came to her.
“You don’t feel like a normal kid, but it lets you feel somewhat normal again,” Jami said.
“You can’t get out and get costumes,” said Jami’s mother, Chris Tomczyk. “It puts a smile on the kids’ face.”
Now Emma can be her favorite princess. Jami can be her favorite Monster’s Inc. character, and Hannah can imagine she’s Alice in Wonderland, not in the hospital.
About 100 patients got to enjoy the early Halloween.