Points of Light 2021

Dear Friends and Community Members,

At the beginning of the pandemic, when we made the decision to cancel Points of Light 2020, we never thought that ten months later we would still be wondering when we could gather again as a community.

The Points of Light Committee hosted a virtual lantern party – delivering lantern kits to members of the Lowell community in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club, Girls, Inc., the Coalition for a Better Acre, and the YWCA. At a time when folks were figuring out how to navigate the pandemic and stay busy, we were delighted to provide families something they could do together. Participants shared photos and we compiled them in a video. It wasn’t the same as our annual tradition – but enjoyable nonetheless. If you missed it, view it here:

We remained optimistic that we could host a small gathering in the fall. As the weeks and months went by, it was apparent that hosting even a scaled-down lantern festival would not be safe for the community.

Recently, the Points of Light planning committee gathered via Zoom – everyone’s favorite new venue – to discuss how to approach 2021. In a normal year the committee hits the group running to plan and fundraise in January. While we remain optimistic with news of the vaccine being distributed across the country, the trajectory the pandemic remains unclear. Without the confidence that it will be safe to gather in large numbers in April, we have made the difficult decision not to hold Points of Light, as we know it, this spring.

While exactly when the next Points of Light remains uncertain, one thing is for sure: that we are committed to continuing this new Lowell tradition. The planning committee is discussing how to host a larger and more interactive virtual event than we had in 2020. We look forward to sharing our progress with you, along with ways in which you can be involved. If you’d like to join the planning, please email Chris and Laura at hello@pointsoflightlowell.com.

If you donated to us last year or plan to donate this year, rest assured all funds remain with our fiscal agent, Coalition for a Better Acre, waiting for the next festival. We hope you will join us again in bringing light and love to Lowell.

Happy New Year,
The Points of Light Planning Committee

Points of Light from Home!

Although we’re sad we can’t physically be together this spring, we still want to remind each other of the strong ties we share in our diverse community. Therefore, we’re introducing “Points of Light from Home”

Row of lanterns

Until May 8, until we run out of supplies, you can email hello@pointsoflightlowell.com to request a lantern kit to be dropped off at any address in Lowell. Lantern kits are in packs of two and are quarantined at least 3 days before delivery. You can also make a soda bottle lantern with everyday supplies (tutorial video below).

In addition, we’re partnering with Coalition for a Better Acre, Arts League of Lowell, and others to include more than 100 lanterns in packages that are dropped off to or picked up by families and individuals.

Email a photo of a decorated or memorialized lantern to hello@pointsoflightlowell.com and we’ll feature it in a video slideshow with lanterns across the community.

Lanterns cost about $5 each, but we’re giving them to groups and individuals for free. If you would like to support this project, please donate to our GoFundMe or check the “DONATE” page for other ways to donate.

Soda Bottle Lanterns

Learn how to make a soda bottle lantern with everyday supplies here:

COVID-19 Delay Announcement

Dear Friends and Community Members,

In light of the developing COVID-19 Pandemic and the CDC’s recommendation that events with 50 or more people be postponed until at least mid-May, the Points of Light Lantern Celebration on April 25, 2020, will be cancelled. We did not make this decision lightly, but as the crisis worsened, it became clear it is necessary to protect the community.

We will soon announce the 2021 date for Points of Light Lantern Celebration, and we hope all our great vendors, performers, and volunteers will be able to make it.

With that said, we feel our community needs Points of Light’s message of family, unity in diversity, community, renewal, and light more than ever. This is why we’re working on some fun things for 2020.

This April: Take-Home Points of Light

We’re working with our partners to create a home lantern decoration activity that can be done with everyday materials or lantern kits we will distribute to interested groups. Anyone who wants to participate—from 8 months to 108 years—can memorialize or decorate their own lantern at home and take a photo of it. These photos will be shared via social media, potentially in a slideshow video. Everyone’s wishes, memories, and creativity will come together virtually.

We will share this activity on social media and through community organizations in the coming weeks.

This Fall: Mini Points of Light

After it is safe to meet with neighbors and community members again, we’ll be ready to have a festival! We are planning a smaller event involving lanterns or light for early fall 2020. We will be able to schedule this event as soon as state and federal officials tell us that it is safe to gather again. It will be a small celebration of being able to meet once more.

We will provide updates about this plan through social media as we have them.

Thank you.

Thanks for being a community partner, vendor, sponsor, donor, attendee, or well-wisher. We want to make sure we can keep working with you through this crisis and into the years beyond. Whether it has impacted you and your family’s health, business, or just your mental state, it’s a difficult time for us all. Thanks for working together to keep our community safe.

-Points of Light Lantern Committee