With a quick flash of lights, residents can send Valentine’s Day good wishes to children patients at a Pill Hill hospital.

In an unusual new event called “Lights of Love,” Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is inviting the community to visit outside its Scottish Rite hospital at 1001 Johnson Ferry Road in Sandy Springs for five minutes on Valentine’s night and flash lights at the windows. Patients will flash lights back in return.

The silent communication of support and good wishes is based on a recent tradition in Providence, Rhode Island. In that city, a resident began flashing his bicycle headlight as a good-night message to patients at a children’s hospital. Many others imitated him, and today, the nightly “Good Night Lights” ritual is carried out by individuals with cellphone flashlights, businesses with their signs, police with their car lights and many others. And many patients signal back with their own lights.

In metro Atlanta, CHOA is introducing the practice as a one-day event Feb. 14 at Scottish Rite and also at its Egleston hospital in Druid Hills.

The Scottish Rite “Lights of Love” will be held at 7:30 p.m., with attendees asked to bring flashlights or use cellphones as lights, and are encouraged to wear red. Free parking will be available at Peachtree Dunwoody Medical Center, 5505 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Suite 530; overflow parking for $5 will be available at Medical Quarters, 5555 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. Signs and volunteers will direct attendees to the lighting area.

The Egleston event will be held an hour earlier, at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, see choa.org/lightsoflove.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.