Rising Above the Darkness
We experienced our first power outage during open hours last Wednesday evening. We were about an hour into the evening when the lights went out as the result of a storm in the area. Our emergency lighting came on immediately and, after a few shouts of surprise, things calmed down and our staff was able to have a brief discussion about how to proceed. Since the kids seemed to be having fun, we believed we could keep them safe, and it’s a significant undertaking to send everyone home, we decided to remain open and make the best of the situation.
Of course, we made some adjustments. Recognizing that the darkness poses particular challenges we closed off portions of the building in an effort to bring everyone together. We reassigned staff, knowing that we needed to be extra alert and aware. And one of our enterprising staff members made a quick trip to Meijer, picking up a couple hundred glowsticks and then distributing them to everyone in the facility. By recognizing the threat, remaining vigilant, coming together as a community, and spreading our own individual lights throughout the building we overcame the darkness and created a memorable evening.
As students were leaving at the end of the night we had a number of young people ask if we could turn off the lights again next week, too. We have no interest in inviting the darkness to become a regular visitor. It’s comforting, though, to know that we’ve been given the tools necessary to rise above it.
– Stan, Executive Director