When Tim Tebow was 15 year old he was serving on a mission trip in a remote jungle in the Philippines and came across a young boy, named Sherwin, whose feet were turned backwards. Sherwin’s village considered the young boy “cursed” and wanted nothing to do with him; but Tebow saw Sherwin as blessed, and so he befriended him. After the trip, Tebow was so inspired by Sherwin that he came back to the U.S. knowing that beyond sport, what he really wanted to do with his life was “fight for people like Sherwin – fight for people who most would walk by.”
In 2010, when starting the Tim Tebow Foundation, Tebow had Sherwin in the back of his mind as they crafted the organization’s mission statement: To bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. Tebow notes, “All of our initiatives – whether it’s a hospital, orphan care, special needs adoption aide, Night to Shine, W15H – they’re about fighting for people who can’t fight for themselves.” And that’s exactly what Tebow and his foundation are doing around the world with their seven areas of outreach. They’re literally picking kids up off the street, who’ve been tossed aside because of their special needs, and they’re changing the narrative by helping people understand the value of life and the power of love.
Tebow recently was in Memphis sharing this story and highlighting a longtime corporate partner, based in our city, American Residential Services (ARS/Rescue Rooter). ARS is a privately-held national provider of air conditioning, heating and plumbing services. They operate a network of more than 70 locally-managed service centers in 22 states, including Conway Services here in Memphis, with approximately 6,500 employees. ARS is well known for their philanthropy, which is something Tebow proudly pointed out. ARS has been supporting the Tim Tebow Foundation from the very start and they’re the first Global Partner for the foundation’s cornerstone event, Night to Shine.
Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs, ages 14 and older, and it’s become a worldwide movement. This year, more than 150,000 volunteers in more than 375 churches around the world will serve more than 75,000 honored guests simultaneously on one night: Friday, February 10, 2017. The 375 host churches represent all 50 states, 11 countries, and 28 different denominations. Here in Memphis, Night to Shine is being held at Hope Church. Thanks to the hundreds of local volunteers (more than 900 are expected), including many from ARS, who will be blessing over 300 kids in our community and making it a night they’ll never forget – a night where they’ll SHINE!