FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The annual Love Light, Shine Bright event at Lutheran Children’s Hospital is returning for a fifth year of bringing hospital patients some much-needed holiday cheer.

Thursday, Dec. 15, the hospital and Hope’s Harbor – formerly the Mad Anthony Children’s Hope House – will play host to the event, which is a beautiful exchange of flashlight beams between community members and patients inside Lutheran Children’s Hospital.

“I think we’re all looking to give back in the community, especially during Christmas time and during the holidays. And this is the way to do it, bring you kids, bring your families,” said Jennifer Norris-Hale who has organized the event all five years. “You make a difference in someone’s life during the holidays and that’s what it’s all about. And we’re so honored to do it every year.”

Attendees are asked to head to Hope’s Harbor on Lutheran’s campus at 7 p.m. Thursday. From there, they’ll be directed to either the front or the back of the hospital. Then at 7:15 p.m., the crowd will shine their flashlights up at the patients in the hospital, and the patients will shine their own lights back.

First responders will be in the crowd again this year flashing the lights on their vehicles, and the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir will sing carols during the event.

Wendy Hoering is the Executive Director of Hope’s Harbor. She says having a child in the hospital can put a strain on the entire family, especially during the holiday season. That makes this showing of love and encouragement even more important.

“Post-pandemic, we have a lot of restrictions on how we can support people who are receiving medical care and this is a way that – no matter what your age is- you can come out and sow the support to families and it will be received and truly appreciated,” said Hoering. “Particularly for the kiddos in the hospital, they’ll see this support and I can’t think of a more beautiful thing.”

Community members are asked to bring their own flashlights, or they can use the lights on their cell phones.