In 2015, a simple idea to celebrate the Foundation’s 5-year anniversary sparked what is now a worldwide movement celebrating over 100,000 people with special needs annually. Night to Shine, a prom centered on God’s love for people with special needs held simultaneously around the world on the Friday before Valentine’s Day each year, is not just an event, but an invitation into a community that values, honors and supports people with special needs and their families.
Night to Shine has since become a catalyst for additional programming intentionally designed to create year-round impact and true life change in the communities hosting the event. To support and encourage this growth, the foundation has launched Shine On as a resource to connect new and emerging special needs ministries with partners who can respond to their individual needs with customized programming, curriculum and guidance.
Shine On is expressed internationally through International Education & Resource Centers as well as emerging International Special Needs Coalitions.
Rooted in the belief that everyone matters, we focus our daily efforts on standing up for those who can not fight for themselves. Perhaps nowhere else is the need to do so more apparent than in the special needs community. Too often, this demographic is overlooked, marginalized, or ignored entirely, particularly in countries outside the United States, where people with special needs are often believed to be cursed. We believe, however, that every child of God is uniquely created and inherently worthy of love, and so as we love Him, we also love ALL others (John 13:34-35).
Night to Shine, is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older. Celebrated annually through church hosts around the world simultaneously on the Friday before Valentine’s Day each year, this event has established itself as an official invitation for people with special needs and their families to find a community of support through their local church and the volunteers who welcome them with open, loving arms. Learn more about Night to Shine.
After the success and explosive growth of Night to Shine, families and church leaders expressed the deep need for community and celebration beyond one amazing night a year. Following much prayer and relationship-building with world-class organizations, Shine On was created in 2018 to equip and encourage churches to embrace and offer belonging to families living with disabilities year-round. As the need to meet these families where they are became more apparent, a way of bridging the gap of support was developed through the Shine On website and companion mobile app. Learn more about Shine On.
TTF has expanded their role in supporting people with special needs internationally through strategic partnerships by coming alongside Back2Back Ministries’s multi-resource center located in Mazatlan, Mexico, Twelve Stones Center for Holistic Child Development, as well as funding the expansion of Down Guatemala in Guatemala City, Guatemala ,and Ekisa Ministries in Jinga, Uganda, each to a second community to be able to multiply the number of families they can serve. The foundation’s strategy is to fortify and multiply centers of excellence such as these so that children in developing countries around the world will have access to the resources in medical care, education, therapy and family development that they need to thrive. Learn more about International Education and Resource Centers.
As partnerships began to form with various ministries across the Caribbean and Central America in recent years, a desire to connect and unite ministry leaders around one common mission began to take root at the foundation. To that end, the Central American and Caribbean Special Needs Coalition was established in 2018. Currently comprised of ministry leaders from multiple organizations in Haiti, Guatemala and Mexico, this coalition exists to not only share best practices specific to this region of the world, but also build a like-hearted community among the various organizational leaders as they spread God’s love for all humankind in countries that have traditionally rejected people with special needs. Learn more about International Special Needs Coalitions.
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