Friday Nite Kids
In March of 2010 a new facet of our Special Needs Ministry evolved when we introduced Friday Nite Kids. This program was inspired and patterned after the successful Friday Night Owls ministry at Kirk of the Hills Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Friday Nite Kids began with four kids, and two Memorial Park families, and has expanded to include over 20 families from both our church and in the community, as well as over 50 volunteers. Friday Nite Kids was created to offer a fun night of supervised play and activities for children with special needs and their siblings so the parents can have an evening out.
Who: Children with special needs and their siblings (6 months through 12th grade)
What: A free night of games, movies, snacks, crafts and fellowship.
When: Contact FNK Steering Team for dates of upcoming meetings.
Where: Clayton Center at Memorial Park Church
Why: So the parents can have a night out and the children are in an environment of acceptance, fun and love.
Register/Volunteer: Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
What people say about Friday Nite Kids:
“When I first heard about FNK, I thought it was too good to be true. It's been hard to find a suitable baby sitter. There is a lot of joy in our family, but not a lot of free time for my husband and me to connect with each other. It's so great to know our children are in a safe environment where they're not just tolerated, but well-cared for and accepted for who they are. It gives us a chance to discuss other issues because we're not at all worried about our kids” – FNK Mom
“FNK is date night, but best part of FNK is the fact that when our son is there, he doesn't have to worry
about his idiosyncrasies - no one tells him to stop. He is often excluded and ostracized because of his behavior. There's no problem at FNK because there's a common understanding that everyone is dealing with something similar. In addition, the program lets our older son (16 yr. old) experience being home alone. " – FNK Parent
“My Son absolutely loved it. He was so talkative after the event, which is rare for him. Thank you so much for making this such a great thing for kids like him. He struggles so much to find acceptance and fun, and you have truly created an atmosphere that supports and inspires him." - FNK Dad
"You see these children walking through the door, so excited to have an amazing evening of fun, love and fellowship. The kids with disabilities are not accepted everywhere, but they know that this is a safe place where they are respected and loved for who God wants them to be. And the volunteers who come into this have a wonderful camaraderie because they're supported on all fronts. You came in thinking you were going to help someone else, only to find your cup's been filled. When we work together, we learn where our strengths lie." - Kim (FNK Coordinator)
From FNK Volunteers:
"I've seen miracles here. The children are a constant source of inspiration. The biggest miracle is watching children without disabilities interacting and forming real friendships with the children who do have disabilities. Here, they're all just children!"
"I prefer being around kids like this because they have so much heart and they're so happy. I'd like to work with special needs kids as a career."
"I'm able to help people who need my help, and that feels good."
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.” - Psalm 139:14