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Night to Shine

Former NFL quarterback and current SEC Network analyst Tim Tebow has put together a Valentines event that will make everyone swoon. He has organised a worldwide event including more than 200 host churches in 48 states and around the world giving teens with special needs their own prom dance fully loaded with red carpets, paparazzi, dancing, styling, food, and fun.

Tebow’s inspiration came when he was 15. He was at a school in a remote village in the Philippines. He says, “there was a boy who was shunned out of the event because his feet were on backward, and what we want to do is fight for the people who can’t fight for themselves. That’s what it’s all about.” He went on to say “It’s about people with special needs, it’s about giving them a voice, it is about celebrating them, it is about loving them and letting them know that their lives matter and that they are special, and giving them the time of their life.”

More than 32,000 people with special needs attended one of the dances, which were staffed by more than 70,000 volunteers. These are staggering numbers for an event in its second year. Tebow attended the event held in Haiti this year where marginalised and disabled children and teens came from all over the country to attend. For most of these kids, this is most likely the first time in their lives they have ever been celebrated. Tebow says this event is so important to him as he carries the burden for people who can’t fight for themselves.

Disabled children and adults are often bullied and told In many ways that they are broken, and not important, perhaps cursed and burdensome. It was heartwarming to see the villagers looking in on the event and witnessing the celebration of life and honouring of the disabled.

Humans otherwise ignored and shunned. These kids were walking down the red carpet with a crowd applauding them. Girls were able to choose clothes and get their hair done.

And then there was the dancing…

Some kids had down syndrome, some wheeled around in their chairs. One boy was deaf and happened to be a really good dancer moving to the vibrations of the bass. This was the scene around the country as thousands of kids were celebrated, honoured, and shown that they matter. That their life is important, they are loved and God has a plan for them. Tebow said that this organisation is blessed to celebrate them, he said this was more than just a party, it’s a statement of love and compassion.

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