Eyes still shining and hearts still warm, this year’s door-to-door Night to Shine had it all! With souls full of humbleness and gratitude, 15 SKILD volunteers prepared special parcels and visited 63 kings and queens with special needs and their parents who welcomed them with big smiles as they shared the joy of having their children recognized for their potential.
This year’s royal treatment comes after a long period of challenges for individuals with special needs in Lebanon as they suffer the consequences of lock-downs, economic challenges, and a lack of state assistance, which, all combined, have forced their institutions to close and left them home-bound with no other means of support. This has not only taken a toll on the progress of each of their special cases, but also means that they have become isolated from their social circles, thus greatly hindering their motivation to reach the fullest of their potential.
Following a long period of isolation from their friends and family, these special guests were visited by members of the team who prepared boxes filled with treats, a bag, a mask, and other essentials for their confinement at home. While the country was still on lock-down, we requested special permission from the government to go out and deliver the boxes to specific regions. When we knocked on the doors of these special stars, we were eagerly welcomed by young men and women dressed like royalty who could not wait to show us the dance moves that they had learned with Demi Tebow.
Though parents apologized for their children’s anticipated timidness and withdrawal, these kings and queens demonstrated the opposite by cheerfully taking their gifts and showering us with displays of affection.
Their joy reflected by simple acts of kindness in their humble homes reminded us that royalty is not determined by crowns, appearances, abilities, or even intellect, but is rather demonstrated by beautiful souls and hearts of service.