Today, my #29DaysofAwareness post reminds me of a post I wrote last week regarding Gia’s prom. When I wrote that post, I was quite emotional. I am happy that Gia is growing up to be a young lady that I want her baby sister to look up to for so many reasons. But when I wrote that post I was a bit emotional thinking and wondering how Gelli’s future prom might unfold.
I have said before that since Gelli was born, I have learned to live in the moment, but for those few minutes where I was recounting the events of Gia’s own prom the night before with my husband, the morning after Gia’s big day, I couldn’t help but think about a few “What ifs…”
Of course, being as grounded as my husband is, he reminded me that we still have a ways to go before we have to worry about Gelli’s prom. His reminder was what I needed to set my feet firmly on the ground once again.
I’m not sure if you y’all know about Tim Tebow. To be honest, I didn’t know too much about him, save for the fact that he is a professional football player, and that he would take a knee when he would score a touchdown. Somehow the media sensationalized his little prayer of thanks that he would give and for some reason, I’m not sure why, it became a bit of controversy. (Why on earth anyone would have a problem with it, is beyond me.)
Ok…so Tim Tebow has this foundation. It’s the Tim Tebow Foundation and he has been doing work all over the world for the past six years encouraging children with special needs and providing ways and means for families looking to adopt. The Tebow Cure Hospital also helps individuals who are in need of life changing surgeries to live a better life. From proms and playrooms, to grants for adoptions and medical care for those who need it, it’s clear to me that he is doing wonderful work for some equally wonderful individuals.
Night to Shine is one arm of the foundation that provides individuals with special needs an opportunity to be crowned KING or QUEEN of the prom. Just yesterday, over one hundred fifty teens with special needs were invited to be part of this very special prom that takes place in 48 states and 8 different countries simultaneously.
My friend Betty Sy was part of the planning committee and she shared a bit of their progress as they were pulling everything together for all of the kids to come down the red carpet.
Betty shared that all of the participants were going to be gifted not just the experience of attending a prom with their peers, but also the royal treatment of hair, make up, and bringing home the gown that they would be given to wear during the night itself by many of Manila’s top designers.
Here’s what she had to say after the event:
I don’t’ know how to share God’s goodness in my life thru Kayla. I am at a place where I truly am full of joy and telling God “Who am I that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name…” Night to Shine was full of love, tears of joy, and spiritual adrenalin! I can go on and on like a story teller giving stories upon stories of God’s goodness and his presence!
This photo was originally posted on my friend Agnes’ wall.
Her daughter Meimei shared and her thoughts on the night:
Night to Shine – a PROM night sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation and organized by CCF. Tonight was an opportunity for persons with special needs to experience a prom, wear gowns and suits (in Jeremy’s case, barong) be on a date with their buddy, dance and party. I loved it. Especially the part when every kid was crowned king/queen of the prom!! What a magical night indeed. Thank you TIM TEBOW FOUNDATION and CCF for hosting such a wonderful event. Mama meimei is very touched :’)
Look at my handsome baby in his barong and crown. With a boutonnière pa.
CCF put so much time and effort into making sure that each teen who attended the prom felt special. From being crowned, to receiving their flowers, and being able to bring along their family members, each guest was certainly treated like the KINGS and QUEENS that we know they are.
Because, no matter how old our kids get…we really just want to see them happy. And if dancing for a couple of hours can make some wishes come true for some teens (and maybe even parents too) then I know we are doing something right in this world.
And all of this goodness and fun and happiness can be exemplified in what Malu shared about her daughter Clarissa’s experience at Night to Shine:
Clarissa’ s left leg is 2″ shorter and usually cannot stand up very long. She also uses a wheel chair when going to malls, grocery or the church. But at the Night to Shine prom, it’s a miracle that she didn’t stop dancing. Praise God for this wonderful and memorable event sponsored by Tim Tebow Foundation and CCF Unique Special Needs Ministry.
Can I get an AMEN?