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Friday Date Night

Sterling and I had a tender date night experience last night. We had heard about Friday’s Kids, a nonprofit organization in Utah County that provides respite for parents of children with disabilities. We have been looking for opportunities to become involved in service, and this group seemed like it might offer the perfect chance; we were especially interested in something that we could be involved in with our grandchildren.

So we went last night for the first time. . . we went alone this time because we wanted to check out ourselves before bringing the grandchildren.

What an amazing experience. Like I said, the group offers a place for parents of children with disabilities to bring their children while they have an evening free to go and do whatever they need or want to do. They drop their children off at 6 and then pick them up by 9:30. You could see as some of these parents dropped of their children how much this evening meant to them. For some of them, I imagine it’s the only break they have from the heavy responsibilities they shoulder as they care for these special children.

The children are watched by volunteers, and trained medical staff and personnel are also onsite. Last night, Sterling and I got to play with a little boy. I’m not sure exactly what his disabilities are, and we didn’t exactly play. He spent pretty much the entire time in a ball pit, just throwing balls to Sterling, who caught the balls and threw them back.

We enjoyed the experience and will definitely return, likely with a couple of grandchildren accompanying us. They allow teenagers to volunteer, if they come with an adult, so we think this is the perfect chance to help our grandkids get involved in service, while also spending some invaluable time with us.



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Reader Comments (7)

Oh Shelli... This just warms my Heart... well, you always warm my Heart... What lucky and special Grandchildren you have and what a wonderful experience they will have... and an impact on everyone lives this will have.... God Bless You and Sterling....
August 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFaith Gaspar
This will prove a wonderful experience for your grandchildren...one that many never get to experience. They will thank you someday.
August 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBillie Moan
what a great thing to do with your grandkids. I was a camp counselor at Spring Hill Camps in Evart, MI for a few years, and my love for children with disabilities just multiplied! I loved what those children taught me and the other kids, too! Sometimes I think those with "obvious" disabilities are the blessed ones...they see their dependency on God. We "normal" people have disabilities that are just easier to hide...and we find it harder to see our need for God in our lives, even though we are lost without Him. Thanks again, Shelli, for your example as a stamper and as a woman of faith and compassion for others.
August 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBethany Drew
Volunteering at birthday parties is how I got involved with children with disabilities over 40 years ago. Some people are frightened by folks who are a bit different than they are. Including your grandchildren in the experience will help them see how very like all the rest of us these children are. I have to say that in the past 40 years I have learned and received more from children with disabilities than I ever imagined. As a special education professional, I thank you so much for the gift of time you are giving these children and their families!
August 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDona Stallworth
Thanks Shelli for sharing..I'm always interested in hearing stories like this, since I have had friends and family memebers who have needed respite care.
Could you please share the organizations name. I would be so interested in volunteering with my family as well.
August 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
a beautiful thing, you all do!
August 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat Lund
Thank you for posting! This is such an interesting one!

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