HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center’s annual Volunteer Auxiliary Lights of Love tree lighting ceremony took place Sunday, Nov. 21 on the hospital grounds in Hartsville.
Keynote speaker this year was Phyllis Griggs, retired athletic director of at Hartsville High School and former member of the Carolina Pines Board of Trustees.
Griggs said when asked to speak at the Lights of Love tree lighting she agreed without hesitation and immediately began to think how she would tie in lights with Carolina Pines — and then the children’s song “This Little Light of Mine” got stuck in her head.
She said those who know her well know she loves music and always finds a way to let the words of hymns be her message.
The first verse of the song begins “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”
Griggs said in Bible, Mathew 5:16, Jesus said to let your light shine before men in order that they may see your good deeds and “glorify your Father in heaven.” She said that Jesus said we are the “light of the word” and are to be a “beacon of light” to others.
“Carolina Pines offers that beacon of light with around the clock care and constantly growing in knowledge and expertise. Always finding a way to be there for anyone in need,” Griggs said.
The second verse starts: “All around the neighborhood, I’m going to let it shine…”
“Carolina Pines lets its light shine each and every day through the great medical staff, administration, custodial and food services throughout our community,” Griggs said. “Even when times get hectic and tough, you always keep your light shining although you may feel your batteries are running short on power.”
In the next verse of the song, Griggs said people will see their good works by their deeds whether it is a smile offered a stranger in the waiting room or comfort to a patient who has lost all hope with no one around to offer them love and support.
“You’ll shine on each other as you often get exhausted from the struggles and burdens of pain and sadness,” Griggs said.
Griggs said there will be many times when others will try to blow out your light by unkind words.
“This is when we need to truly depend on Him to give us the strength that we need to keep our light burning brightly for all of those around us,” she said. “Jesus is the light of the world.”
She said Jesus is the reason for the season and “permeates through the Christmas lights.”
“Like the rest of the hustle and bustle of the season, the lights are meant to remind us to celebrate, not replace the reason we celebrate,” Griggs said.
Griggs said Christmas is that “special time of year when everyone stops and focuses a bit more on giving to others…”
“Let us this holiday season allow all of these lights to brighten the light in our hearts so that everyone we see will see our light is shining brightly and will feel the love emitted from the true light who is Jesus Christ our Lord,” Griggs said. “Twinkle on, Christmas lights.”
Carolina Pine chaplain Ralph Wase, honorary Christmas tree lighter, waved his special wand and the lights on the tree came on for all to see.
Bill Little, CEO of Carolina Pines, welcomed guests. He said it has been a tough year or two, that so many people have experienced loss.
Special music was presented by The Tyners.
The event is a fundraiser for the Auxiliary, which uses the proceeds to provide scholarships to students entering some facet of the medical field. Lights are purchased in memory or in honor of loved ones.
Pat James, Auxiliary volunteer, recognized sponsors and told guests that about $14,500 was raised with Lights of Love this year and that it would go to scholarships.