Volunteer Testimonials

“My husband, Craig, and I have been Night Lights volunteers from the very beginning.

It is very rewarding working with these amazing children, both children with special needs and their siblings.  On top of it being rewarding, it’s absolutely fun!  We are each paired with a child each month, and often, we are with the same child.  When my “main kid” sees that I am to be her buddy for the night, her face lights up.  I don’t believe any child has ever been bored at Night Lights (or adults, for that matter)!  There are so many different activities to try, and  everyone is laughing and smiling.  Night Lights is incredibly organized so that there is always an extra adult on hand when we volunteers need a short break.  The leaders are close by if we have questions, and they even have great young volunteers called Bright Lights, pre-teens trained to play with the kids alongside the adult volunteers.  They bring another level of play “kid to kid” with great patience and love.  We raised two healthy kids, for which we are grateful.  For parents who have children with special, life is tough.  We are so happy to be able to bless the lives of these families through simply coming and playing with amazing kids once a month.  What better way to say thanks to God for our children?”

Craig and Janice S.

 

“I am so fortunate to be involved in the Night Lights respite program.  I have met so many quality people:  everyone from our dedicated leadership team to our adult and teen volunteers and the families with special needs children and their siblings.  Parents are so appreciative to have a night out without having to worry about their children.  They know they are in good hands regardless of their medical needs or health condition.  Kristin Steadman and the Leadership Team work tirelessly addressing every detail to ensure that children are safe and have an enjoyable evening.  The smiles on everyone’s faces, kids and volunteers, say it all.”

Mary Rae Pacheco, RN

 

“I have been a Night Lights volunteer for several years and it has changed my life in so many ways. I went from, “Yea, I think I would like to help out these families sometimes,” to, “We need to come back a day early from vacation so I don’t miss Night Lights!”

When the opportunity first came to me, I was very apprehensive, a little scared, and not sure if I would be able to be helpful to a child with special needs. I’m a teacher and I felt comfortable being with a sibling but, I wasn’t sure I was “qualified” or “equipped” to be with a child that had special needs. I had never had that kind of experience before other than casual encounters where the parents or others were taking care of the children. I really wanted to help, and God was tugging at my heart so, I trusted Him and took the “plunge.”

The Night Lights team was SO encouraging, understanding, and helpful. There were so many opportunities for every type of “comfort level” and they supported me when I wanted to try to be with a child with special needs. I didn’t feel alone at all. There was so much support between leaders, nurses, and other volunteers that I felt secure, knowing help was one step away wherever I was.

Now, I’m “buddied” with a little girl I am usually with on a continual basis and I love her dearly. She gives me more joy and love than I could have ever imagined. I have pictures of her on my fridge and artwork she has done up in my house. Every time I go, ALL the children there touch me in ways that usually bring me to tears. I, myself, am constantly learning and growing. They have it “tougher” than most of us and yet they are loving, joyful, and just want to have fun. They have given me a new perspective on life. I think of them wherever I am, looking at life, people, and experiences through different eyes that give me more compassion, love, and understanding.

I’m so thankful and blessed that I have the privilege to help and make an impact on a child’s life and their family. But now it seems so small in comparison to the huge impact that these children and families have made on me, my heart, and my life.”

Connie S.

 

“Night Lights has been such a wonderful program for not only the kiddos, but for the volunteers, as well.  The Night Lights leadership and events are so well organized that volunteering is very easy.  I can’t believe it’s been two and a half years that I’ve been a part of this.  It’s still just as much fun now as it was the first night. The families of these incredibly special children are amazing people, and it feels wonderful to be able to give them a few hours to do whatever they want while knowing that their kiddos are safe and having fun.  I love being a part of Night Lights, and look forward to it every month.”

Scott D.

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