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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

South East Association For Special Parks And Recreation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: SEASPAR's mission is to provide dynamic programs and quality recreation services for people with disabilities residing in our twelve community service areas. It is our vision to: Discover Abilities, Achieve Potential, and Realize Dreams. SEASPAR was founded with and continues to operate with the following core values: Fun, Excellence, Service, Respect, and Accountability.

Target demographics: Residents of all ages with any disabilities.

Geographic areas served: SEASPAR’s service areas include the park districts of Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, La Grange, La Grange Park, Lemont, Lisle, Westmont, and Woodridge, and the villages of Brookfield, Indian Head Park, and Western Springs. Anyone residing in those incorporated entities may participate in our programs.

Programs: Year-round therapeutic recreation programming for all ages and disabilities, including weekly programs, special events, day camps, Special Olympics training, adapted sports for individuals with physical disabilities, the Wonders Multi-Sensory Room for individuals with sensory disorders, the EAGLES adult life skills enrichment program, a Drop In Center for individuals with mental health needs, the Home Front Health program for veterans in Downers Grove and Lemont, and cooperative programs with local schools, nursing homes, group homes, and more.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son has been involved with SEASPAR activities and programs since he was in grammar school--and he is now 28 years old. The staff are all so friendly and caring, and they make all the participants feel welcome, no matter what their abilities are. The variety of programs and activities is outstanding--something for everyone! My son has been in the Eagles program for the past seven years and has enjoyed all of the social, educational, and recreational opportunities provided. Even during the Covid lock-down, the staff made sure that everyone stayed connected and engaged by hosting regular Zoom meetings with lots of fun activities. SEASPAR is an outstanding organization that is very much valued and appreciated by all the families that it has continued to serve over time.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jason started participating in SEASPAR programs when he was a young boy. SEASPAR's caring and competent staff have taught Jason how to bowl, swim, appreciate music and most importantly, to interact appropriately with adults and his peers.

Jason is now 32 years old. Through SEASPAR, Jason has discovered rock wall climbing, canoeing, archery, fishing; visited many exciting places; participated in his favorite sports; and made rich and lasting friendships.

SEASPAR has enriched Jason's life and supported us through good times and bad. We consider SEASPAR part of our family.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SEASPAR is amazing! My son just joined their Eagles program this year, and he loves it! The director and the staff are top notch! We are so blessed to be a part of the SEASPAR family.

Joanne Lattal C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seaspar is the best. The amount of care and love shown to the participants from staff is amazing. Truly a family. We miss you are not so patiently (🤪) waiting for back to “ normal” programming!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son has been with Seaspar for 10+ years. We started with doing summer camp when he was young and then graduated into the adult programs. The Seaspar staff is amazing and has been a great support to us every step of the way!! I truly don’t know what we would do without them!!

1 Kristin W.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SEASPAR is a great program for people with disabilities. Without SEASPAR, I don't know what I would have done after I graduated from college besides work. It keeps us busy and its a great place to meet people and make friends.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My internship at SESPAR has been one of the best experiences! The SEASPAR staff were all so welcoming, kind and helpful. They have done an outstanding job of creating virtual programs for the participants so they can still be a part of the SEASPAR family. They truly care about the participants and co-workers and this is such a wonderful, energetic place! I am thankful I was able to be a part of this team.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I started working with SEASPAR in March of this year. I am happy to work with such an amazing team that is dedicated to the people we serve. It is all about fun recreational programs offered to our participants year round! Even during this time, we have been able to serve our community and will continue to do so! I love SEASPAR!

Audrey G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization means a lot to myself and my daughter. The staffing is wonderful and they really show a great respect for their clients. SEASPAR has given my daughter a social life and a great day program. She has many friends because of SEASPAR, she is able to be independent of me and not rely on myself all of the time for activities.

William C.5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love this organization and what it represents. The entire staff, from ground up, are dedicated to providing quality services to people with special needs. You won’t find one person at SEASPAR, that doesn’t believe in their mission. You’re in good hands with SEASPAR.

Haley K.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing people and great fun. The children and young adults made an enormous impact on me, and I sure hope I made one on them!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing people, wonderful program. :) seriously priceless! Thank you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seaspar programs helped our daughter learn to play the piano. She still plays every day!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My SIL attends Seaspar's Brookfield day program. It is perfect for her because it helps her to be active in the community rather than just be at home. I have no idea what we would do without Seaspar! We have gotten to come to Seaspar parties and have attended several fundraisers that Seaspar has had. This is one great organization that helps the community so much

Jennifer B.21

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked for SEASPAR for several years as part time staff. The passion and commitment from both the staff and participants keeps this place going. Every event helps offer a great experience to include and educate the community. It's a great family to be a part of.

Tricia Merkle L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love Seaspar and all the dedicated people who work there. They definitely love their job! I have 2 kids who especially enjoy Teen camp! It makes summer so fun!

Angie P.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter attends many programs through Seaspar. We are thrilled that they have joined the Lemont community, so we are able to utilize their quality programming in our area. Our adult child is thrilled with the new Eagles day program that is offered at the Safety Village building on Tuesday and Thursday year round. We have been very happy with all of the programs and staff. Thanks for caring!

KarriePece

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for SEASPAR for nearly 20 years as a part-time staff. SEASPAR is committed to providing recreational services to individuals with disabilities and takes care and pride in every program they run. SEASPAR is constantly looking for new ways to engage the community and provide exceptional programming to residents. Every program is personally managed by a full time staff member and as a support staff, I always feel I have the tools and support required to run a successful program. Personally, SEASPAR has made a huge impact on my life as it laid the foundation for a career dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities. I have seen many programs - SEASPAR exceeds them all. It is a pleasure to work for such an outstanding organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son James has benefitted from Seaspar programming since he started in the children program all the way through to the current adult program. With the help of dedicated and caring staff he is able to enjoy many events and programs with his peers. The variety of programming allows him to enroll in programs that be loves to attend including dances, fun fairs, picnics, sporting events and dances to name a few. Thank you Seaspar and staff for all that you do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked for SEASPAR for 5 years and can verify that it's a great organization. There were frequent trainings and discussions to make sure the staff was completely prepared for their roles. The administration was familiar with each participant and were always genuinely excited for each program. The staff was friendly and helpful. It was always a great time being a part of various programs and seeing participants enjoy being with their peers in the community. SEASPAR offers programs for all ages and welcomes anyone who is interested. This truly is a great nonprofit where people of all abilities are celebrated!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SEASPAR is a blessing to the surrounding Chicago area communities. As a staff, the administration is completely organized and profession, and I have seen our programs change the lives of both participants and family members.

1 Chloe K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My sister has been receiving services from SEASPAR since it became available in our area and she loves it. Her favorite activities through SEASPAR are Glee Club, Vocal lessons, and Swim and Healthy Snack. She loves to do the winter and spring shows every year where she gets to sing in front of an audience as a member of Glee Club. She loves all the friends she has made through this organization. SEASPAR is amazing.

Brian F.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Seaspar has a lot of programs at the Lemont Core. They have swimming classes and all of the group is all smiles the entire time. Seaspar is very organized and very well run events.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I just started working for this organization in September and I can’t say enough amazing things about it! I’ve been working in this field for six years and have a brother with special needs and I am so thankful there are organizations like this for many people who have a range of disabilities.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have personally witnessed kids and adults grow both socially and physically. SEASPAR has wonderful programs for all ages with staff that is enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been attending SEASPAR for over 20 years. Special Olympia’s, summer camp (day camp
And a week long overnight camp) Social club, and now the eagles program for 8 years. I have never had any concern about his safety or welfare when he has been w SEASPAR. Quality staff and volunteers who make sure your child will have fun and enjoy their day! We feel very lucky to have SEASPAR to enrich our sons life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love Seaspar my children have benefited from their programs and inclusion help over the last 11 years.

Kathleen R.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

SEASPAR and their dedicated staff have been a lifeline to our family. Our son is severely autistic. We have been involved in various SEASPAR programs for over 15 years. This community has welcomed our son and been willing to work with his issues to provide support, education and friendship for not only him but for all of us. We feel truly blessed and thankful to everyone at SEASPAR!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son has been a client for over 30 years. He loves going to SEASPAR activities and we know that the staff are all warm, caring individuals who love what they do!! It's an amazing organization!

Beth Mason Z.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Exceptional organization. Tons of classes and activities available!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seaspar is a great organization allowing participation, socialization, sharing, caring, and acceptance, and excellence. Being a parent of a special needs child, my daughter has been an active member for over 15 years, and I’m presently volunteering as a coach for Seaspar. Can’t say enough good things about Seaspar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family has been SO blessed by having our Special Needs child participate in SEASPAR activities and programs - I would be heartbroken if our child wasn't able to do so or they weren't present to provide such an invaluable opportunity for engagement within the community and with our child's peers. SEASPAR provides excellent, caring, knowledgeable Staff Members to run their activities and programs which provide fantastic opportunities for physical fitness, therapeutic needs and respite for caregivers. We have had our Special Needs child enrolled in their activities and programs for nearly 10 years now and plan to have him participate as long as he is able and alive to do so.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am on the Board of Commissioners for an area park district. We work with SEASPAR to ensure that our parks are accessible and that all of our residents are able to maintain healthy lifestyles. SEASPAR is a driving force in directing the Board's attention to the needs of the developmentally disabled in our village and we all do a better job of serving as Commissioners because of the Association's efforts. SEASPAR's management is wonderful to work with.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been in SEASPAR since preschool and he is 9 years boy. He took his first piano lessons here and the recital gave him high motivation. Also SEASPAR has the greatest swimming lesson with great instructors. Always one of staff is in the class and take care of all situation.

All staff are very kind as well as I feel that my son is one of their family members not client. Thee would be or shy do their best and I could feel this every moment. If anyone attend to see the Christmas Festival ( I cannot remind the exact name of the event), I believe he or she would be impressed and moving from how the SEASPAR has been doing their best for all.

My family is really lucky to know this great supporter.!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been involved in Seaspar activities since she was about 7 years old and continues to enjoy activities at 28! The caring staff and variety of options for involvement is amazing. From sports to social groups to music and theater -from young ages to adults-Seaspar covers it all. One of my daughter’s favorite activities is Aktion Club-these philanthropic adults with special needs volunteer their time to help other organizations that need help! My daughter would be sitting home bored and not be nearly as social without all the great activities at Seaspar!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our 2 sons have participated in SEASPAR activities for over 20 years. SEASPAR has proved them with social interactions and activities that they would not have otherwise experienced. Staff has taken the extra steps to make their participation successful and meaningful. Even when aggressive behaviors were being exhibited, they worked with us to ensure safety as well as to get through those times in our sons' lives. Without a lot of funds to spend, we get a lot of value from those funds being spent on SEASPAR programs.

Massiel T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SEASPAR has offered programs specifically for special needs AND provided an aid to ensure inclusion and participation in non-special needs activities

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love SEASPAR!! My son has participated in several SEASPAR programs over the years and has loved his experiences with the organization. He spends his summers attending their day camps, and he participates in other programs during the school year, and all of the staff we have encountered have been amazing! They are so loving, kind, compassionate, and fun, and my son is thrilled to spend his time with them! We are so lucky to have found such a wonderful group of people to offer our son experiences he wouldn't have anywhere else, in the most supportive and loving environment possible. Thank you, SEASPAR!

1 Tommy E.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My friend Emily is a part of Seaspar's EAGLES. I appreciate to no end, the support and experiences they provide for her. I follow online all of Seaspar's activities, and functions. I am so grateful that their programs exist for my friend, and for all of those who can benefit from them. Seaspar is truly a blessing.

Thank You