ARS Employees Shine Light on People with Special NeedsEmployees at American Residential Services (ARS) rallied around Night to Shine (NTS), an incredible prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation (TTF).
Dave Slott, President and COO of ARS, said, “Although we give back to our communities in many ways, this was an unprecedented event because we supported one cause, for one night, from coast to coast. This is not just about a company donating money to a non-profit. The Tim Tebow Foundation is very much part of our ARS family. We are humbled by our employees who went above and beyond to support this wonderful mission.”
For Tim Tebow, a philanthropic Heisman Trophy Winner and football standout, NTS represents a plan that he’s had since he was young. “When I was 15 years old, I realized the importance of fighting for people who can’t fight for themselves,” Tebow said. “As a foundation, we are so passionate about people with special needs, and this event is a great time to celebrate them and show them they are loved.”
This year, NTS was hosted in over 200 churches, across 48 states and 7 countries around the world from 6 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 12. ARS employees participated across several cities, including Memphis, Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, Denver, Las Vegas, Corona, CA, Vero Beach, and Columbus, Ohio.
“We have always said that we wanted NTS to be a night for the churches to shine, the volunteers to shine, and most importantly, for Christ to shine,” said Erik Dellenback, Executive Director of the Tim Tebow Foundation. “We are grateful that our friends at ARS were part of this unforgettable evening.”
During the event, more than 70 ARS employees committed to volunteer their time during NTS. Many served as buddies to escort guests with special needs, show them the royal treatment, and crown each guest as a king or queen of prom.
“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care. No matter what the disability, seen or unseen everyone should be treated equally and loved,” said Christine, Claims Coordinator at the Corporate Office.
Jason, General Manager at ARS/Rescue Rooter Columbus, said, “I was truly humbled by my buddy Joshua. At the beginning of the night, Joshua told me all he wanted to do was dance with a girl his own age. I saw him bravely walk up to a girl, offer her some iced tea and ask her to dance. And they danced for 20 minutes! We’re now friends on Facebook, and I plan to take him fishing later this year.”
ARS service centers contributed over $5000 in funds and supplies (including flowers, food, photo booths and volunteer thank-you bags) to local churches that hosted the proms. ARS employees personally donated over $2100, which ARS matched dollar-for-dollar, for a total of $4200. Plus, over 50 employees signed the “Stand with Us” pledge to ensure TTF’s mission continues to help those with special needs long after NTS.
Here is what other ARS employees said about volunteering at Night to Shine:
“What an awesome night for a great cause! My wife and I had the best time getting to know our buddies. We danced the night away!”
“My Buddy was George, and he was ready to have a good time! What an inspiration he was to me. Even if I have a bad day, his attitude showed me how to keep going and make the best of what you have. Party on George!”
“I loved being a buddy and getting the chance to give these amazing people a chance to experience a prom. Ethan was so amazing and full of joy, life and love. We danced and sang the night away. We spent 90 percent of our time in the karaoke room. He knew all the songs from the musical Annie!”
“Every detail of this event was carefully planned and executed. It touched my heart to see God’s love for His children abundantly displayed by so many volunteers and local businesses that participated. I am looking forward to volunteering at this event next year.”
“My outlook on life has forever changed. I see my own challenges differently. In the two hours I spent with Victoria, she showed me that life is so much bigger than self. I saw so much happiness in her face. It was an unforgettable night and I cannot wait until next year.”
“My buddy, George, was so pleasant and such a gentleman, he made my night very memorable. He rode in a limo for the first time, walked the red carpet with a big smile on his face, danced with several people, sang karaoke, had his shoes shined, made a star with his thumb print and had several fun, silly pictures made in the ARS-sponsored Photo Booth.”
“I am so honored to work for a company that truly embraces unconditional care and compassion for our external and internal community. You can count me in for next year!”
“It was an awesome experience! The kids and parents were just beaming with joy the entire evening. It was an incredible honor to be a part of such a fun- and love-filled evening.”
“As a buddy, I was able to be part of Dawna’s night to shine and she sure did. Dawna showed me that you should always appreciate the little things and never be afraid to be yourself. She was full of smiles and laughs.”
“My buddy was 27 year-old Sam, who loved dancing, saying hello to friends and interacting with the superheroes that were circulating the prom. On numerous occasions, he enthusiastically darted off towards friends he recognized to give them a hug. My favorite memories of the night were definitely on the dance floor where Sam, Cindy, his other buddy, and I spent almost an hour dancing. Sam even took the opportunity to twirl me around the dance floor for a song.”
“The kings and queens were not shy at all. They loved posing for me and broke out some extra special dance moves so I could capture their elation on camera. They face serious challenges every day, yet they radiated joy. It’s impossible to go home after a night like this and worry about the trivial things in life.”