NightOWLS needs to expand our volunteer base to continue offering excellent care for our families with children with special needs.
What is NightOWLS?
- Respite care ministry for families with children with special needs.
- Our goal is to care for families of children with special needs by loving their children and giving parents time together.
- Meets 7 weekends a year, Friday and Saturday night.
- Children with special needs and their typically developing siblings under 13 years old are each matched with their own volunteer for 4 hours of fun: rooms are set up with activities, special entertainment, movies – it is never dull!
Who Comes to NightOWLS?
- 27 families attended last year: 5 are members of Signal Pres, 22 non-members; 18 families live on Signal Mountain, 9 live off the mountain.
- 51 children attended last year: 30 children with special needs, 21 typically developing siblings.
- This ministry reaches a wide range of families!
Who Volunteers for NightOWLS?
- 70 volunteers needed for each weekend: 35 on Friday evening and 35 on Saturday evening.
- We have members and nonmembers of all ages volunteer!
- Middle and high school students help in support roles: running and playing with children, being paired with typical siblings, monitoring the craft room, etc – they are some of our best volunteers!
- Families serving together – some examples are the Tuckers, Holts, Zeisers, Pedigos and Webbs.
- We provide childcare on Saturday evenings for elementary students not old enough to volunteer yet, but whose parents are volunteering.
- Volunteers can: be paired with a child for the evening, monitor an activity room (like craft or game room), monitor a space (hallway or playground), take pictures of the evening, help clean up after the evening, provide dinner for the volunteers before the evening begins, provide entertainment.
Where does NightOWLS fit?
NightOWLS falls under the CARE (Care And Respite for Everyone) ministry at Signal Pres. Other ministries under CARE include:
- Tower Room: Consistent care for children with special needs during Sunday morning worship, Wednesday night activities and other church events
- Barnabas Buddies: Volunteers paired with children with special needs to help the children participate in planned church programming: Sunday school, Wednesday night, special events.
- Sparrow’s Nest: Ministry which supports families interested in fostering or adopting.