Kylie Bejin of Shelby Township, Mich., enjoys the "Moonbeams" display outside Beaumont Children's hospital.
At 8 o'clock every night, the moonbeams, and the smiles, come out at Beaumont Children's hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
"Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams" was created by the Beaumont Children's Pediatric Family Advisory Council. Every evening in December at bedtime in the pediatric unit, community members are invited to stand outside the hospital and shine flashlights up at the hospital windows, and pediatric patients shine lights back in a show of support and community.
The gesture is simple, and the display only lasts a few minutes, but the chorus of flashlights have brightened the lives of many on the pediatric ward.
"It's a wonderful thing to look forward toâto realize that the community remembers these kids in the hospital," said Tracey Huber whose 8-year-old son Mattias was recently hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy. "It was something my son and I could do together. And standing at the window, seeing all those people out there shining lights at us, I had tears in my eyes."
The response from the community has been overwhelming. Participants have included members of local sports teams, Scouting troops and elementary school students, as well as families and neighbors. Multiple groups are currently signed up for each night in December on SignUpGenius, and some groups are as large as 100 people. However, you don't need to sign up to attend; you just need a flashlight.
"The whole concept of light is so powerful this time of year," Huber said. "It's just an amazing way to connect with the community. There were times that I was positive that the people on the ground were following my flashlight. It's an amazing connection."