Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams shines light for pediatrics unit

- December is a special month at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. It's even more special for the children who are inside the pediatric unit: they don't have to look up for moon beams, they just have to look out. 

Beaumont Royal Oak created Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams to help the children who can't be outside in this magical time of year. Amanda Lefkof is a child life specialist at the hospital and says this is to help the children who sometimes feel alone or forgotten.

"We work in the hospital everyday and so we know first hand kind of how it can feel being stuck in there. It can be lonely, you can feel secluded, you can feel forgotten," she said.

It's even worse during the holidays. Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams brings people together every night this month outside the hospital's pediatric unit to shine flashlights and glowsticks at patients. In return, the children shine their lights back at them.

"I don't know who gets more out of this, the kids or us," Kyle Smalley said. 

He may be on to something. Lefkof said the reaction from inside the unit is sheer joy.

"I've been in both places. I've been outside shining the lights up and I've been and I've been up in the rooms with those kids shining back down and they get so excited and they think it's the coolest thing ever to see how many people are down here showing up for them," Lefkof said.

Every night, about 200 people show up to shine their lights, but sometimes the crowds swell to as many as 350, even with a snowstorm raging like it did on Monday.

For about five minutes, the human light show lights up the pediatric unit. The short time is a small gesture that goes a long way, sort of like light in a dark place. It's brightening the holidays for dozens of pediatric patients at the hospital.

Anyone is welcome to attend on any night. Just bring a flashlight. Learn more about this unique program here.

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