North Florida Regional Medical Center (NFRMC) and HCA Healthcare are inviting the community to help salute health care workers by leaving holiday lights up until at least the end of January.

The initiative known as #LightsUp4Heroes is happening throughout the United States.

By keeping your lights up into the New Year, the hospital post on its Facebook page states that you can "show your support for our #HealthcareHeroes fighting on the front lines of the #COVID19 pandemic."

The NFRMC post offered a simple reason for the effort: "Holiday lights provide an emotional boost to everyone who sees them."

In this challenging year, these lights have become a sign of normalcy and hope for many, according to NFRMC.

Whether your lights decorate the outside of your business, your community or your home, show your support by:

✔Keeping your lights up until January 31.

✔Helping spread this message by sharing photos of your holiday lights throughout January on your social media accounts with the hashtag #LightsUp4Heroes and #NFRMC.

✔Continuing to thank our healthcare heroes for all they are doing to end this pandemic.

The hope from the “Keep Your Lights Up for Healthcare and Frontline Heroes” initiative that as health care workers drive to and from their shift, they will see the lights as a sign of community support.

The lights will serve as a reminder that hope has arrived, even in this darkest month of the year.

Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe, who challenged residents to a holiday light contest, says he thinks that's a great idea" and will be getting the word out through social media.

Gainesville resident Jennifer Vargas is taking the idea even further. "I've actually come up with a new idea," she commented. "We're keeping our tree up through Valentine's Day, and instead of decorations, we are putting hearts up with local heroes!"

Mainstreet Daily News Reporter

Suzette Cook is a Mainstreet Daily News reporter who has been a community journalist for more than 30 years.

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