Night Out with Loving Sitters
What is NightOWls?
NightOWLS is a respite care program designed to be an evening of care and fun for children with disabilities and their siblings. Our trained volunteers provide individualized care for each child and participate in pre-planned activities and events according to each child’s interest. A nurse is present to assist with any medical needs. An off-duty policeman is present to insure security and a quick emergency response if necessary.
When does nightowls take place?
NightOWLS is held eight months out of the year; we do not meet in December, January, June, and July. There are two NightOWLS groups: the Friday group meets 6–10 PM, and the Saturday group meets 1–5 PM.
WhOm does Nightowls serve?
Families with children who have disabilities
Kids with disabilities age 1 month to 13 years
Siblings of kids with disabilities
Families must pre-register by completing an application on each child attending. Please begin by filling out an Interest Form.
What happens at Nightowls?
A whole lot of FUN! As soon as you walk in the door, you will be greeted and introduced to the volunteer(s) assigned to your child(ren) for the evening. You will then sign in your child(ren) and complete a medical waiver. If your child needs medication administered during the evening, you will meet with the nurse and write down instructions for the nurse to follow. We will take it from there! Your child’s volunteer will then give a tour of the different rooms set up with fun activities.
Examples of some of our rooms include:
Memories in the Making – two different crafts are available each night, as well as playdough
GPS (games, puzzles and more) – board games, a wooden train, puzzles, and more
Sensory Room – a room filled with toys that is a safe environment for children who prefer to play independently from other children
Owls Nest – a dimly lit, quiet room where children who are over-stimulated can rest, regroup, or take a nap
Wii Room – multiple controllers allow children and volunteers to test their Wii abilities
Outdoor play – two playgrounds are open during months with daylight savings time
Special entertainment is provided during each NightOWLS event. We have enjoyed a presentation by the Tennessee Aquarium on amphibians, a puppet show performed by Kids on the Block, painting lessons given by a local artist, and more!
Our evening winds down with Celebration Time, when we recognize any children with birthdays that month, act out a Bible story, and then settle down to watch an age-appropriate movie.
Is Dinner served at NightOwls?
Due to complications with food allergies, we do not provide any food for children attending NightOWLS. However, we do provide an Owlettes Dinette where children can eat food provided for them by their parents. We are very strict about keeping food only in the Owlette Dinette and also about not allowing children to share food with each other.
What about the days and weeks between NightOwls events?
It is our desire to create a community of love and support for families of children with disabilities. To help foster this sense of community among the NightOWLS families, we offer a wide variety of programs and support for kids, students, adults, and families impacted by disabilities. Our goal is to ensure that all people are able to participate in the life and ministry of Signal Pres, and it is our delight to partner with families to design customized care plans to enable you to connect, grow, and serve! To learn more or to begin a care plan for your child, contact Cara Rock, Director of Embrace Ministry.
Volunteer with Nightowls
What is involved?
Volunteering for a NightOWLS evening requires a 5 hour time commitment. It is our desire to keep the volunteer pool large enough that each volunteer is not needed each month. Volunteers arrive 45 minutes before the children to prepare for the afternoon or evening. Lunch or dinner is provided while the volunteers hear announcements and learn about the special events for the evening.
Every volunteer who works directly with the children must attend annual training, which is offered twice a year; read and comply with the policies and training manual; and submit to and receive approval from a Criminal History Background Check as required by Signal Pres.
New Volunteer Training
New volunteer training is offered twice a year, usually in August and January. No is experience necessary! For more information or to sign up, contact Celestial Allen.
NightOWLS has given our son a place where he can be himself in a world that doesn’t always accept him
We know you love our son and we really appreciate the attention and care that you have shown him over the years. You guys are truly Christ - like.
– NightOWLS Parent
I just want to let you know that the staff at night owls has always been understanding and kind. I really appreciate you.
– NightOWLS Parent
As Christians, we have a clear call to love others as we would like to be loved. (in fact, how have been loved) Sometimes, it is hard to see how to do that. In NightOwls however, we have a clear path to loving others. It is one of our purest ministry opportunities and has been a blessing to our family.
– Curt C., Volunteer
The bottom line of my NightOWLS evening was that you cannot outgive God. I thought I might teach [my child] something and instead she taught me…I thought I was giving something, thought I was serving, and instead I was blessed beyond what I could have asked for or imagined.
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Embrace Ministry Staff
Interested in volunteering?
Join us at a NightOWLS to shadow a current volunteer.
February 25 & 26
April 1 & 2
May 6 & 7
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