Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in the Upstate invites communities to spread holiday cheer to hospitalized children

Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in the Upstate invites communities to spread holiday cheer to hospitalized children

Greenville, S.C.— The Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in the Upstate invites the community to participate in the hospital’s holiday initiatives to help brighten the holiday season for patients and their families, with everything from this Sunday’s Good Night Lights event to distraction therapies and psycho-social support and even a calendar featuring the hospital’s therapy dogs.

The Good Night Lights event, to be held this Sunday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m., helps community members light up the night – and hearts – of young patients and families. During the event, community members gather to shine flashlights toward patients’ windows to help send well wishes, positive thoughts and holiday cheer as the children “answer back” with their own flashlights.

“For children and families especially, it can be tough to be hospitalized – but it’s even tougher over the holidays,” said Robin LaCroix, MD, medical director of the Children’s Hospital in Greenville. “This simple gesture is a great way for our community to send well wishes and positive thoughts as we, literally, brighten the holidays for our families.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s version will be drive-thru, with participants circling through the parking deck in front of Children’s Hospital in order to shine their love to children from its top floor. Children receive milk, cookies and Children’s Hospital flashlights, while participants this year receive take-with-you goodie-bag treats and flashlights. Participants are encouraged to decorate their cars with encouraging messages to help spread the holiday spirit. Participants are asked to gather in line at 7 p.m.

A drive-thru Good Night Lights event will also be held at the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia.

“No family wants a sick child in the hospital, much less during the holidays,” said Walter Hutto, director of healthcare sales at Internetwork Engineering, which is the sponsor of Good Night Lights in Greenville. “It’s important to Internetwork Engineering to lift our communities, and we are grateful to have the capacity to support the Children’s Hospital. We are thrilled to announce that with this sponsorship the Children’s Hospital playroom will be renovated to help provide healthy distraction and normalcy during a child’s stay.”

Community members who prefer to participate from home can turn on their porch lights at 7 p.m., Sunday, or download a Children’s Hospital Buddy Bear coloring page that they can share via social media with the hashtag #goodnightgvl

The community can also provide support this holiday season through the Spirit of Giving campaign, which helps provide much-needed psychosocial needs such as toys, games, therapeutic play and distraction toys. The Spirit of Giving, sponsored by WYFF-4, also helps fund additional opportunities such as birthday parties for patients, visits from specially-trained therapy dogs and specialty camps for children with diseases such as cancer, blood disorders and diabetes. For $25, donors can even provide a child with a Buddy the Bear plush animal.

Traditional funding is very limited for these kinds of psychosocial needs, which presents a unique opportunity for community involvement, said LaCroix.

“Our goal at the Children’s Hospital is to heal the ‘whole’ child, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms at hand,” said LaCroix.  “Initiatives like the Spirit of Giving and Good Night Lights make the lives of children and families a little more joyful, and we rely heavily on the community’s support to help positively impact these families.”

The Spirit of Giving campaign runs through Jan. 11. To learn more about the Spirit of Giving campaign, visit spiritofgivinggvl.org.

Community members can also fetch home a 2021 calendar featuring the five furry friends of the Prisma Health Canine F.E.T.C.H. (Friends Encouraging Therapeutic Coping and Healing) Unit. Calendars are $10 each, with sales helping sustain Prisma Health’s facility-dog program. Calendars are available online. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org/FETCH.

About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 hospitals, 2,984 beds and more than 300 physician practice sites, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually. Its goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.