Blog: How can we keep the ‘spirit of giving’ alive in Fort Wayne throughout the year?

Two years ago, a holiday event at Michigan’s renowned Beaumont Children’s Hospital called “Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams” caught my eye. It provides the community with a way to give back to children who are receiving treatment during the holidays.

At Beaumont, community members gather each night of December outside of the Children’s Hospital to shine their flashlights up at the children and families in the hospital, letting them know that they are not alone—and certainly not forgotten in the holiday hustle and bustle.

At the time, bringing an event like Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams to Fort Wayne was just an idea, but it was heavy on my heart to share with our community. I knew that an event with this degree of compassion had the capacity to be embraced by Fort Wayne in a big way. When an opportunity presented itself, I shared the concept with Mad Anthony’s Childrens Hope House and Lutheran Children’s Hospital. Without hesitation, both organizations were eager to make it happen, and even more so, make it an event of our own for the Fort Wayne community.

Together, we created Love Light Shine Bright in 2018.

In the company of more than 300 men, women and children, we walked along the Lutheran Hospital campus singing carols while sharing hope, love, and light to children receiving treatment and their families. It was one of the most heartwarming events I have ever been a part of, and the good news is, you can participate in it again this year.

The first Love Light Shine Bright event in 2018.

Families and children of all ages are invited to join us on Thursday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m. starting at the Mad Anthony’s Childrens Hope House for hot chocolate and treats. Then, we’ll make our way around the Lutheran Hospital Campus with the sounds of the local acapella group, Smooth Edge 2, and shine our Love Lights on the patients and families of the Lutheran Children’s Hospital.

We’re excited to welcome the chamber singers from the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir this year, as well as a guest appearance from the North Pole as a special treat for children both inside and outside of the hospital.

For me, this event is a continuation of my desire to create a network of community impact through a project called the Greater Good Fort Wayne. It’s about taking the goodness that is shared throughout the holidays and keeping it going throughout the year. At least, that is the plan.

There are opportunities for giving in our community that are just waiting to exist by taking action from a single thought, through a conversation, or even one single act of kindness. There are lives waiting to be impacted by taking that action that is weighing on your heart and making it happen, and as an organization that seeks to connect and uplift local nonprofits and volunteers, we are here to help you.

The love and consideration that members of our community share with complete strangers is just as invaluable in the middle of July as it is on Christmas Day. We need to actively support our nonprofit community beyond Giving Tuesday.

Do not forget that the same family receiving food and clothing donations during the holidays will most likely be the same family that receives continued support through the deep passion of the individuals and organizations that serve them every single day.

Let’s work together to achieve a greater impact for good all year long.


Learn more

Follow the Greater Good on Facebook.

Visit the Greater Good’s website, and join the mailing list.


Read more articles by Jennifer Norris-Hale.

Jennifer Norris-Hale is a boomerang resident of Fort Wayne. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Apparel Merchandising and was in the apparel industry for over 10 years, spending most of that time building a career in Manhattan. Since returning to Fort Wayne in 2015 she has continued developing her true passion in philanthropy as the founder of The Greater Good Fort Wayne. She is a board member for Middle Waves and the Youth Services Bureau. Most importantly, she is a mother of three boys and truly enjoys getting them out and about to enjoy all that Fort Wayne has to offer.