The holidays are particularly difficult for those who have lost a loved one. As the PR support for a service line of hospital Torrance Memorial Home Health & Hospice, The Hoyt Organization was responsible for setting the stage for the initial community outreach, and spreading the word within the community. Designed to help those left behind cope with the loss of a loved one, it served several purposes. First, it provided a venue for those who were grieving particularly during the difficult holiday season and second, it focused a spotlight on the healing process which in turn expanded donations.
Designed as a warm, inviting and soothing event, music played as guests arrived. Speakers were chosen based on their connection to the field. Lights were offered to each person as they arrived, to be placed on the tree one-by-one as the names were read during the ceremony. It was truly an inspirational and healing event for the community. The Light Up a Life tree was prominently featured at the ever-popular annual Festival of the Trees, sponsored by the hospital. In addition, 5,000 fliers and 200 posters were placed throughout the community, and 3,000 invitations were distributed to TMHH&H’s mailing list. The hospital’s database was also utilized to reach physicians.
Fundraising efforts increased funds from $36,000 to more than $45,000, making this event the largest single fundraising event for the hospital at the time. Today, the event continues to be a community magnet during the holidays. It has not only generated tens of thousands of dollars, but it also has helped thousands of community members as they learn to live without someone they love.