For the past few days, I have shared stories about service. Service costs time and it needs a little bit of forethought. The wonderful thing about service is that is gives to both the provider and the receiver. It makes better people of all of us!
Would you like this world to be a bit of heaven on earth? You can make it a little more so with your choice to provide service!
Do you have a wonderful story about service that you have been involved in? If so, I would love to hear about it and possibly share it at a future date!
I hope you will enjoy today’s inspiring story! Service can come in so many different types of packages! 🙂
Shining a Light Through Dark Times
For any person, of any age, hospital stays can be scary. From the buzzing machines to the lonely hallways, it’s hard to imagine the experience ever being a pleasant one. The exception: The Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Here, overnight stays have become something to forward to thanks to a quirky local custom that turns the town into a magical spectacle every night before bedtime.
In 2010, Steve Brosnihan, a resident cartoonist at the hospital, told the last patient he saw that day—a teenager who he had bonded with over the kid’s long stay—to look out of his hospital room window at a certain spot after he left. It was the teen’s last night in the hospital and Brosnihan wanted to do something special to say goodbye. When he reached the indicated spot, he turned toward the hospital and flickered his bike light toward the teen’s window. To his surprise, the teen flickered his own room lights in response.
“It is all I look forward to basically all day,” said Abigail Waldron, 10, who has seen Good Night Lights during two extended stays for leukemia treatment. “It just shows you that somebody is helping you through your whole experience in the hospital.”
“It is all I look forward to basically all day.”
Nearly everyone Brosnihan has approached has agreed to participate, including local bars and restaurants, law enforcement, Brown University officials and more. Tugboats salute with their powerful searchlights. Skyscrapers downtown installed sophisticated automated lights to flash a greeting long after the workers in the building have gone for the evening. One building downtown has an LED screen that spells out “Good Night, Hasbro” nightly at 8:30 p.m.
“Because it was almost a personal thing between me and the kids I was visiting,” Brosnihan says, “I hadn’t really thought about the prospect of people joining me in flickering the lights until I thought about how much fun I was having and how much fun others could be having, including the kids.”
The children love the attention, because it reminds them that even though they’re sleeping in an unfamiliar place and enduring uncomfortable treatments, people in the community are thinking about them and wishing them well.
Passing on the tradition
The experience doesn’t just connect the community to children in the hospital, it teaches Hasbro’s young patients about selflessness and giving back.
“Kids who are slightly older can’t believe that people are taking time to do something for them, people that they don’t know,” Brosnihan says. “The more thoughtful kids say they can’t wait to get out of the hospital so they can be on the other side of the windows flickering lights, which is a wonderful thing to hear.”
Brosnihan knows of plenty of families who have flashed Good Night Lights to patients after a hospital stay. He even knows of families that have flickered lights outside the hospital to honor the memory of a child that didn’t survive treatment.
“It’s a very powerful permutation of the signal,” Brosnihan says. “The families want to support those who are still in treatment, even in the wake of the loss that they have experienced.”
Today’s inspiring story shared from the following website: http://www.rd.com/true-stories/inspiring/nicest-place-finalist-providence-rhode-island/
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