“Maybe for the first time in their life, they realize that God loves them and has a unique plan for their life,” says former quarterback Tim Tebow about his Foundation’s special needs prom night.
The Tim Tebow Foundation was founded in 2010, and the Night to Shine was inspired when one of Tebow’s advisers told him about a church that was holding a special needs prom, asking if he would be interested in running with the idea. That was four years ago, and this year the event has grown to be held by over 540 churches world-wide, in 16 different countries.
Host locations are all over the map, from South Africa, to Anchorage, to New Zealand, Hawaii and Italy. And of course, the event was help at the Tebow CURE Hospital in the Philippines.
Tebow was born in the country’s capital Manila to his Baptist missionary parents. His mother found out she was pregnant while recovering from an infection that caused her to fall into a coma. Doctors were recommending abortion due to the severity of the medications they had used to treat her, but she refused on the grounds of her faith.
The Night to Shine event, according to its website is invitation-only for people with special needs and it is up to host churches to extend invitations. Volunteers are encouraged to contact their local churches for information on helping out with the events, and people who are not able to attend are encouraged to pray. During last week’s annual event, there were approximately 175,000 volunteers supporting 90,000 guests.
Tebow posted this video to his YouTube channel and Facebook page celebrating the news.
Is it raining in here?
Comments on the video exploring the event were positive:
“This is my 3rd year going I love this event.”
“I am so excited for next month! My first time going thank you for doing this for all of the special needs children including me.”
Of course, it’s a Tebow video, so there were a few scattered comments calling out the athlete’s attractiveness.
One comment was from a blind person saying that by attending, they were able to ride in a limousine and “have the time of [their]life,” saying that they wished they could see but were excited to tell people that they hugged you. The woman, whose age was not mentioned, said that she is involved in the Special Olympics as a swimmer now and seems to have been injured severely after being hit by a drunk driver at the age of 13.
An event that look place at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Boca Raton, Florida, hosted 160 guests and Rev. Steve Carretto said the whole thing was a “great success.” The Pastor went on to said that the “hope is that [the guests]see that they are treasured by God, [that the community]had a night celebrating them because God celebrates them daily.”
Past events were popular, and it’s looking like next year the night will continue to grow as the word spreads.
Tim’s still single, ladies, but he has a few caveats:
“I’m looking for someone who loves Jesus and loves people. Someone who makes me want to be a better person for her.”
Not always easy to find these days. Even with millions of dollars and years worth of fame, Tebow still has his head screwed on the right way, and knows what’s really important. He has said that he wants biological children, but he’s also planning on adopting at least seven more, preferably from international countries.
“I want my kids to grow up with an appreciation for every single person, no matter what they look like. That’s what unity looks like to me: knowing that you can love people who aren’t the same as you are. I want to teach that message to my kids; I want them to live it.”
The Night to Shine took place last week and local news in Philadelphia took a few minutes to go out and cover the evening, putting together a three minute newscast showing how prom attendees were getting all dressed up with manicures and makeup before heading to a local church that was decorated and set up to gather 125 special needs guests.
Sources: Tim Tebow Foundation Website, YouTube, Facebook, CBS Philadelphia, FaithIt, Christian Post
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