Light and Love

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Photo by Dan Morgan.
Photo by Dan Morgan.

Night Light Tulsa meets under the bridge at Maybelle Avenue and Brady Street every Thursday night to serve the homeless and low-income communities. It was inspired by a similar event in Portland, Oregon called Night Strike. Sarah Grounds and her husband Jason saw a documentary about the 12-year-old program around the same time their friend and co-founder Ansia Jackson served there during a mission trip.

“We felt pulled to do something like that here in Tulsa,” Grounds says. “We had a desire to step outside of our comfort zone and be impactful in our community.”

It remained a desire for a year more until a request from their son revived their plan. He asked to spend his eighth birthday helping the homeless instead of having a party.

The bridge allows us to serve in an open-air environment that is not restricting or imposing. It provides a block party atmosphere that people can enjoy being a part of. We also chose this specific bridge because it was located between the city shelters and a low-income neighborhood.

“He wanted to invite friends and go downtown, hand out lunches and spend time visiting with people,” Grounds says. “It ended up being a great birthday and further ignited our passion to build relationships and serve others.”

The next week they invited people from their church to help give out meals, and many expressed an interest to serve more often. The founding group sat down to work out what it would take to hold the event on a regular basis. Two months later, they hosted their first official Night Light Tulsa event on September 19, 2013.

The group offers