written by Dana Herron
Walking the red carpet entrance after a limousine ride. Getting the star treatment. Dancing the night away. No, it wasn’t a Hollywood party, but it truly was a Night to Shine, and CaraVita Home Care was honored to play a part in the celebration.
This year marked the second annual Night to Shine events hosted by the Tim Tebow Foundation. The foundation promotes this "prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 16 and older." When First Baptist Church of Woodstock contacted CaraVita to let us know they were one of the host sites this year and asked for our help, we were happy to support this joyous event.
It takes a lot of volunteers to pull off such a big party. Nationwide, the Tim Tebow Foundation estimated that over 70,000 volunteers worked to serve over 30,000 guests the evening of February 12th in over 200 locations. At Woodstock alone, there were over 1,400 volunteers who made sure the 800+ guests had the time of their lives.
And six very special CaraVita Home Care caregivers were there to help. Felicia Amanambu, Marie Coulibaly, Maureen Esehien, Courtney Adams, Johnson Ilekenri, and KG Awoyemi all described their participation as a blessing. Having trained volunteers available to assist with personal needs of attendees allowed both those with special needs as well as their regular caregivers to enjoy a carefree evening. Johnson says everyone there seemed to have a "common spirit showing love," and Maureen thought the joy she witnessed that night was remarkable.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all that night—for both attendees and event planners—was a personal appearance by Tim Tebow himself! He told the crowd at First Baptist Church of Woodstock that he flew around the country to as many of the events as he could. Both Nathan Wood, a church representative, and caregiver Courtney Adams were very impressed by Tebow’s personal commitment to the mission of serving others.
"Night to Shine will rate in the top three events I've ever hosted in my 40 years of pastoring," said Pastor Johnny Hunt. Hunt said, "The smiles, anticipation, joy, and fun had by all was life changing to all involved. What a privilege to minister to the persons with special needs and to provide a night of fun for their caregivers. UNFORGETTABLE!"
We can’t agree more! CaraVita Home Care was thrilled to be able to serve and hopes to be part of the event again next year.
Photographs are courtesy of First Baptist Church of Woodstock.