St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope campaign in Vancouver goes virtual this year due to COVID-19

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – From Lights of Hope to Hope at Home, the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation is tweaking its signature holiday fundraiser for the COVID-19 era.

Starting Thursday night, you can drive by and see the hospital lit up in Christmas lights. You can also livestream the view from the foundation’s website.

Chief Development Officer Broek Bosma says the goal this year is to raise $3.5 million.

“Over the past 23 years we’ve raised more than $40 million and that goes to support our front-line care workers; our nurses, our physicians, and, of course, to support our new hospital as well, the new St. Paul’s,” he explains.

You can also purchase a limited edition “Hope at Home” star, as a way to show your support for those on the frontline.

“That is a star that you can hang in your window, hang on your balcony, or hang on your porch to light up,” Bosma says. “For us, it represents the same thing as the 7 o’clock cheer, which is a celebration and support of our front-line healthcare workers during this pandemic. So that’s one of the big changes: we are hoping people will stay at home to celebrate Lights of Hope, but to bring some of Lights of Hope into their home and to celebrate in that way.”

The star is made of paper, so you’ll probably want to keep it under cover.

For people who are still driving by St. Paul’s Hospital, Bosma says you’ll notice something a little different on the physical display, too.

A large digital screen will be included in the display for the first time, where digital stars will be shown, among other things.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a number of events to go virtual this year, and Bosma says the Hope at Home campaign has so far received a positive response.

“People understand that we’re not going to have big celebrations and big events this year,” he tells NEWS 1130. “And people are really excited to be able to bring a little piece of Lights of Hope into their own home and to be able to connect virtually in a way from distance and still enjoy the display.”

The Lights of Hope will stay up until Jan. 6

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