I volunteer in a ministry that is called SOAR. This stands for Special Opportunities Abilities and Relationships. SOAR is all about working with special needs kids and their families. Every few months, my church hosts a SOAR respite night. This means that parents can bring their special needs children to my church. Each individual is placed with a “buddy”. That child then gets to hang out with their buddy all night. There are games and music and all kinds of fun things for these kids to do to have a great night. Not only that, but the child’s parents are able to get away and go do whatever they would like. That could be going on a date night or out shopping or anything else. They have a chance to get out and do something, knowing their children are in a safe place having a great time. This ministry is very important to me and is a big part of my life. It is growing and impacting the lives of so many people, including myself. I have a heart for special needs kids and to volunteer in a ministry like this has been such a privilege and I love every part of it. I love seeing the happiness brought to these kids and to see the smiles that are brought to their faces brings me so much joy. It makes me feel so happy knowing that I am helping make a difference in some of these kids’ lives. Not only do you get to be a part of great night, but you make friends. I made a friend and he is 15 years old and has Down syndrome. He is such a sweet boy and once a week he will call me just to talk. Every time we’re about to end the phone call he tells me he loves me. Another friendship that I formed was with an eleven year old girl with Down syndrome. She has been my buddy at SOAR for the last several times. Every single time I see her she comes running into my arms with a huge smile on her face. Moments like that are priceless to me and remind me of how amazing this ministry is. These are the kinds of bonds that you make through SOAR that will last a life time. I feel so blessed to work in such an amazing, impactful and life changing ministry.