F INANCIAL F O R U M
A Story to Warm Your Heart During These Trying Times A NIGHT TO SHINE
It sure has been a strange month, hasn’t it? In the past few weeks, we have gone from joking about toilet paper and monitoring a crisis that felt worlds away to battling a war on our homefront. My goal is to help you manage the chaos and remain calm. It’s not easy to invest in retirement or prepare for it right now, but trust me, the market responds to your emotions. It’s frightening, but as I said in an email I sent in early spring, being patient is the best thing you can do right now. Since COVID-19 makes up nearly everything we read or hear about, this month, I want to share a different kind of story with you. It’s a story that makes me smile whenever I think of it, and I hope it does the same for you. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for people with special needs. I previously served on the Special Olympics New Jersey board. I always got really psyched for that each year. I even once bought swimming gear for an entire swim team of Special Olympics athletes. The look of pride on their faces as they came out of the locker room was a sight to behold!
The best way to describe the event is that it’s emotional and beautiful. It’s just hundreds of people — both with special
needs and without — enjoying a wonderful night together. I was particularly proud of the response from my church community when it came to this event. The sign-up sheet for volunteers was posted on New Year’s Day, and we had enough volunteers to host two Night to Shine events after just one day. There were more than 1,500 volunteers! We had a whopping total of 800 guests, and we still had enough volunteers to make every attendee feel like royalty. It’s nice to think back on Night to Shine and the fun times I had with my “buddies”while I’m abiding by quarantine rules. I’ve been trying to use this time to be grateful because working from home does have its advantages. I’ve been working on additional ways to connect with my clients, like hosting webinars and teleconferencing, and as a bonus, I’ve been working with my Labrador at my feet and have more options for lunch than I know what to do with. Sometimes the greatest value we can find is in the small moments, like Night to Shine. I hope you find time to look back on the moments that made you smile and find small ways to warm your heart during this strange time in our world. It may not always be easy, but as I’ve said before, we’ll get through it together P.S. If you didn’t receive my email in late March, give me a call at 973.652.8155 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I shared my thoughts on the state of our current world and advice on navigating the fluctuating market. I’d love to share it with you. —Brian Irving
So, when I learned about a special event my church was hosting, I knew I had to get involved.
I’ve been attending Liquid Church for the past five years. During that time, the church has partnered with the Tim Tebow Foundation to host the Night to Shine event, which the foundation has organized at churches across the globe for the past six years. Night to Shine creates a prom night event for those with special needs or disabilities who are 14 years old and older. Guests are treated like royalty with limousine rides, a paparazzi welcome, flowers, dancing, singing, games, and food. Finally, every attendee is crowned king or queen of the prom. I signed up to volunteer with Night to Shine a few years ago, and I volunteered once again this past February. I typically sign up to be a “buddy,”which means I am assigned to an attendee. I can still remember my partner a few years ago. He has autism, and he was obsessed with the shoeshine station! As long as he was having fun, I was having fun, too.
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