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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Non-Candy Giveaways for Trick-or-Treaters

Published in Pediatrics, For the Health of It Author: Tiffany Rickbeil,MD

For children with medical conditions such as type 1 diabetes, eosinophilic esophagitis and food allergies, Halloween can be a truly scary holiday. These children are often excluded from the fun of Halloween night. Consider offering non-food items so that all children can feel included on a memorable night with their friends and family.

Consider offering something that can make a real difference in the experience of children that suffer from food allergies and other medical conditions.

The following non-food giveaways can all be found at the local dollar store, Target or Walmart.

  • Glow sticks and bracelets
  • Halloween stickers
  • Holiday-themed erasers and pencils
  • Spooky play rings

And if ordered ahead of time, the following fun items can be purchased online and shipped to your house in time for the holiday:

As an aside, the Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness of food allergies through the addition of non-food toys, making Halloween safer and more inclusive for all trick-or-treaters.

The steps are simple:

  1. Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
  2. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to neighbors that you have non-food treats available.
  3. Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map.
  4. Spread the word! Share the Teal Pumpkin Project with your friends and family.

I will be wishing all the little ghosts and goblins a spooky and safe Halloween!