I cannot say enough great things about Tim Tebow, and all of the good things he's been doing with his foundation.
Tonight, at a location in Central Arkansas, the Tim Tebow Foundation...along with a local church...hosted a "prom" for adults and teens with special needs. It.Was.Awesome.
And it wasn't just thrown together with left-over stuff...altho the FRIENDS don't seem to notice or care when it is. But as Moms and Dads, we noticed the attention to details we saw at this prom. Details that were thought-out and planned to make each individual FRIEND feel so very special.
Joshua had asked me to find him an outfit that would make him look "fly." Now, I'm not sure what "fly" looks like, but tonight? It looks like a new shirt. He wore pants and shoes and a sports coat that he already had. He will not wear a tie because he says it's too tight on his neck (even when it's so loose you can run your hand up between the tie and his neck)...and he will make gagging noises until you take it off of him.
The one thing I noticed when he came downstairs, tho, was that he was wearing a blue v-neck t-shirt under his dress shirt...instead of a white t-shirt, like he would typically wear. I asked, "what's up with the blue undershirt?" He said, "uhhh...my white t-shirts show my chest hair but this blue one doesn't." When I questioned him further on it, he said, "it's more cuter."
He said, "I'm going with a blue "retro" theme."
He said, "blue sports coat, new blue shirt, blue v-neck, blue pants...and BLUE UNDIES! heeheehee."
I said, "what about your socks?" He pulled up his pant leg and bent down to look. "NOPE! Not blue!"
First, we had to meet Jenni, and her helper-friend, Tiffannie, at Chili's for dinner. WHY we were meeting for dinner, I do not know. The information on the prom said there would be food there. But, Joshua wanted to be with Jenni, and Jenni was going to be at Chili's...so off we went. Jim and I decided to stay and eat with them. I remember that I looked around the restaurant and announced, "this place sure isn't crowded for a FRIDAY night."
To which my husband responded: "it's 4 o'clock in the afternoon."
And then I looked around and noticed that we were the youngest people in the restaurant...BY FAR.
I'm just sayin'.
So we ate and they exchanged Valentine gifts. We took lots of pictures...and then we headed to the prom.
As we walked up to the event center, the first thing we noticed was the red carpet...and the people on either side of the carpet, all the way up to the door. As we got closer, they started cheering and everyone had cameras...and they were taking pictures of Joshua and Jenni. Or they were acting like they were. ;) Joshua and Jenni just grinned, and walked inside, hand-in-hand. It was the sweetest.thing.ever.
The first person we saw was a FRIEND from their Therapeutic Recreation group. At the check-in, they were given a special bracelet to wear for the night. It allowed them to get a treat bag and all kinds of stuff. We walked into the dining area and saw all the tables set up for a sit-down meal.
I also saw some girl FRIENDS who were getting their hair and make-up done by volunteers. There were racks of prom dresses and prom shoes to choose from...for those who needed them. Each FRIEND was going to be crowned prom king or queen, and given a crown...because, according to Tim Tebow, "that's how Jesus sees them."
And then we went upstairs, where they were assigned a "buddy" for the night. That's right, each FRIEND was assigned someone who would dance with them and eat with them and show them things like where the bathroom was and where to find a water fountain. Joshua and Jenni's "buddy" happened to be a sweet girl who was in Holly's social club at OBU. Small world, huh? Holly is a couple of years older than this girl.
We left J&J in the care of Jenni's helper-friend, and we've been receiving pictures via text all night. They rode in a limo. They ate. They danced. I saw some karaoke.
Joshua and Jenni had a GREAT time! I'm so glad they went. Next year, if it's held anywhere close, I want them to go again...and we hope to volunteer to help however we can.
I was in tears reading the comments and seeing the pictures on social media...because these "Night To Shine" events are going on simultaneously all over the country. In 26 states, to be exact. I was BLOWN AWAY by the love and generosity of others for the ones who can offer them nothing in return but love. And maybe a hug. I am so thankful for churches who see the value of ALL people, and pour themselves into a community of the ones who are sometimes the most overlooked.
"For the LORD your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you..." Zephaniah 3:17