The carpet has been rolled up. The streamers torn down. All the confetti is still floating around somewhere. Night to Shine is over.
Looking back it’s always amazing to see how quickly the actual event speeds by once that first guest hits the red carpet. One minute our guests are being cheered down the red carpet and the next they are leaving the church through a dome of sparklers.
If you haven’t been to night to shine before, in my opinion, you’re definitely missing out. To me this event is the closest to heaven you can get. You see guests being loved unconditionally, no matter their intellectual status. Caregivers who often feel invisible are seen and cared for, and the whole night is one big celebration.
For a quick recap of what was available that night, here’s what our guests got to experience:
- A red carpet entrance with guests cheering them on
- Crowned the king or queen of the prom
- A gourmet dessert room
- Limo rides and a photo booth
If you were lucky, you also got to grab a picture with Rameses and pet a therapy dog (or see one dancing)!
This year we continued to grow our numbers. We welcomed 170 guests, more than 80 caregivers, and were assisted by 350 volunteers! More than half of those numbers are all people from our community (including the volunteers) – people who otherwise may never set foot in a church; people who otherwise may never hear the name of Jesus; people who that night got to see a glimpse of what the unconditional love of Jesus looks like.
I am always honored to be a part of being the hands and feet of Jesus that evening. Showing the special needs community that while society says their “weird” or “different” and “don’t belong,” Jesus tells them they are fearfully and wonderfully made.