Every Saturday night in the month of February, my church puts on one of our biggest events of the year: DATE NIGHTS! Our church wanted to provide a place where any parent in Loudoun County could drop their kids off for the evening and enjoy both free babysitting and a night out! This year we hosted over 1,800 kids over those four weeks, which meant that hundreds of couples were able to take time to spend with each other and invest in their marriage.
It took over 360 volunteers to make it happen, and I was so encouraged to see so many people at our church step up and volunteer to bless these families. Whether they were greeting families, rocking babies, running the sound system, helping with the craft, changing diapers, leading the dance party, serving pizza, helping with set up/tear down, or hanging with a group of 10-12 kids all night, there were so many moving pieces happening at once to make this event so successful. I’m blown away by our Community Kids staff seeing how well organized each week was. I can only imagine the countless hours that went into the planning process to make sure each piece was in just the right place. We’ve had such great feedback from the parents, kids, and volunteers, and it’s so sweet to see the church continue to reach more and more families every year! Enjoy a little glimpse into this past month! :)
Parents would be in line 45 minutes before doors officially opened! Welcoming 400+ kids every night is quite the process!
I was so encouraged to see some of our wonderful pastors that would also show up every weekend to welcome and greet families as they waited in line:Then all of the kids ages 4 and up were welcomed into the sanctuary where there was a big Kid Concert and dance party waiting for them! Every night I made sure to sneak downstairs to hang out with the 0-23 month kiddos for a while, they always dished out the best baby snuggles! :) It was a long night for some of these little ones! Some were ready to party, and others were ready for bedtime snuggles! “Here boys, hold this right here. Look, I can hula hoop!!” :) Our 2-3 year olds loved having the bounce house all to themselves! After their Kid Concert, the older kids would rotate through three different stations: craft, game, and pizza snack!
All of the kids I talked to said this night was their favorite! They all LOVED this glow in the dark dance party! Then they would head back up to the sanctuary for the entertainment for the evening! They were able to enjoy a reptile show, a magic show, an ‘under the sea’ show, and a karate demonstration over the 4 weeks. One of my personal favorite moments from the month! The ‘Under the Sea’ guy had just explained (in the photo above) how a sea star can actually regrow an arm if it is attacked. and this little boy (in the photo below) who was so fascinated with our wonderful elder Brother Bob, leaned in close to him and said “If a sea star can regrow an ARM, how come you can’t regrow any HAIR?!” :) this little girl was the cutest thing! she had him on the ground in no time :) I haven’t played around with videography too much, but here’s a little ‘thank you’ video for all of our volunteers that they put together using the clips I took throughout the month! Enjoy! :)