By DJ Chaffman
CAROLINA NEWS & REPORTER
Halloween is quickly approaching, and millions of Americans are getting ready to dress up in their favorite costume for a night of festivities. Its one of the few nights of the year where dressing up is acceptable regardless of your age, and pop-up retail stores like Spirit Halloween do what they can to help find the perfect costume.
At the Spirit Halloween located on Forest Drive, workers have been preparing for their busiest few days of their short season. General manager Clyde Hutto said that this location opened in late August, but over the next four days they will do 70 percent of their business.
Hutto says in preparation for that he has hired five or six employees in the last two weeks. He says it's made easy by the fact that most of his employees have a genuine love for Halloween. For one associate at the store, Alex Quintano, it’s this joy hat makes the job so much fun.
“I just love helping somebody find a costume, their asking you to find something, and you are actually helping to get it together; I just love helping them,” Quintano said.
While many of the workers at the store share this feeling, they are more proud of Spirit of Children, an organization Spirit Halloween stores supports to help make hospitals less scary for children. It’s a cause that Hutto thinks their customers are eager to support.
“That makes it so much easier when you tell everybody that the money stays local, and goes to local hospitals. That’s the best thing about it,” Hutto says.
Spirit Halloween has run the charity since 2007, and in that time they have raised more than $37 million to help support child life specialists. This year the money raised at the Forest Drive location will be donated to McLeod Children’s Hospital in Florence., However, Hutto is hoping that next year they can partner with a local Columbia hospital.
“We hope next year that they are able to secure... like a Palmetto Children’s health hospital or something like that. I think if we get that our donations would go through the roof,” Hutto said.