Good Night Lights Brings Holiday Cheer to Patients
For the fourth year in a row, Sacramento Police Department, Twin Rivers Police Department, Sacramento Fire Department and Sacramento Regional Transit teamed up to bring holiday magic to patients and their families. Fire trucks and police cars filled the front parking circle, and their flashing lights lit up the night sky. Patients and families waved down to first responders from hospital windows on the second floor, shining flashlights of their own. The annual Good Night Lights celebration once again lifted spirits of children and families spending their holiday season at the hospital.
Organizer and manager of therapeutic recreation and child life at our facility, Michelle O'Hara, started this event with the goal of spreading holiday cheer.
"It’s a nice way to really spend the holiday season, focusing on the joy and the happiness of it, versus being in a hospital," said O'Hara. "It’s something that gives us a story that has nothing to do with hospital life, nothing to do with medications or procedures, or something like that."
Sacramento firefighter Ryan Hatfield who participated in Good Night Lights this year shared how this event was a full circle experience for him. Hatfield was a Shriners Children’s Portland patient when he was 12 years old after breaking his back. Giving back to the kids who are now patients meant the world to him.
"It's pretty emotional." said Hatfield. "It's such a good thing for me and for everyone in our department to be able to come out here and just make these kids have a good night."
The event is part of a national Good Night Lights program that brings a holiday light show to children every Tuesday night in December. Children spending the holiday season in the hospital, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to see holiday light shows in the community, are brought joy from this collective effort made by local police and fire departments. Wyatt, an 11-year-old patient at our hospital who attended the event with his family this year, called the event "pretty cool."
Shriners Children’s staff, first responders and community members are already looking forward to next December when “Good Night Lights” will return for a fifth year.
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