I have been employed with UCP for over 10 years. In this time I been blessed to be surrounded by so many knowledgeable, passionate, caring and innovative co-workers. Through some challenging life circumstances, everyone worked with me to help me obtain flexibility when it was truly needed. This kindness and caring extends both to the employees and to those we serve. I can not count the number of times UCP employees from all areas have pulled together to go above and beyond to help another coworker or a family/individual we serve when needed. I have volunteered at many UCP events over the years. Each one was a wonderful experience. UCP is fully about being One Team One Mission. Everyone one comes together to make sure any undertaking is a success. I have also donated items to various events and programs; Family Fun Fair, Sibling Workshops; Adopt a Family and Changing Hands. Donating was easy and the items went directly to fill the need as requested. I am grateful to work for such a wonderful organization that values every individual, creates an atmosphere of teamwork, and exhibits passion on a daily basis.
This past week I had the sincere opportunity to witness God's Grace first hand.
This morning I want to give a special shout out to three very special people for demonstrating the love of Christ this week and for the work they continue to do.
My story begins with two people in my congregation who witnessed a man with cerebral palsy fall out of his old wheelchair on the sidewalk going uphill in front of their home.
I’m not giving names out names, so as not to embarrass them, but both of these folks from my church immediately responded by helping this gentleman back in to his chair and allowing him to return to his home….that was a nice thing to do….."Love thy Neighbor Right?"
From there you think the story would end…..but NO!
They called their Pastor, me, to see if there was any possibility of getting him a motorized wheel chair…..and I started making calls.
Although Mission Central at the United Methodist Church has helped in the past, they did not have one on hand and they referred me to the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation South, in Camp Hill. This is when I talked to and would like to recognize the first of some really special people. I spoke to Jackie Wardle. Jackie informed me she did not currently have one and referred me to UCP North's Heather Taber (Special person number 2). Heather was more than happy to help despite not knowing me nor the young man in need of a motorized chair. As a Pastor I was absolutely amazed at how willing and able to help... Heather really was…She really cared about our situation and said we just needed to pick it up and drop it off to the gentleman…..I was able to get help to come along to lift the heavy motorized chair on to the back of my truck.
We then drove it to the gentleman's home.
A wonderful and grateful man who has suffered from Cerebral Palsy his entire life ……..cried a little when we dropped it off….He was very excited for the free gift and now more freedom of movement.
So you would think the feel good story would end there……Nope!
I received a call from Jackie....
The UCP Foundation South “CARING HANDS” center had a ramp system available that would allow the gentleman to get in and out of his home more easily. The cost….free
So another road trip this week was taken and instead of driving to Scranton, we drove to Camp Hill!
A friend’s borrowed trailer did the trick and just a few hours later the ramp was dropped off at the gentleman’s home.
Folks……everything worked out for this gentleman…..not because of the people but because it was all part of God’s plan. He gets the honor and the Glory.
The gentleman gets to live a life a little more comfortably because of the grace of God and the great work of a few “very special and generous people.”
Finally I want to thank Thomas Yu. Thomas helped to load the ramp on to my truck and took pictures to record this event. Another way of showing just how much UCP Cares.
With all the bad things happening during this world-wide pandemic, it sure is nice to know there is still a lot of good in this world. May God continue to bless you all for the wonderful ways you improve the lives of people in need.
The Great Commission is not only to save people's souls - it is to save God's Good Creation.
Jesus told his disciples that He came so that they might have abundant life ….and a large part of that abundant life means putting our world back right - physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
So, whatever field you are working in the LORD is calling you to help Him transform our world (HIS GOOD CREATION) and to fulfill the Lord's Prayer of "thy kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven."
God wants everyone to be rescued, redeemed and in the process of being restored.
He wants everyone to do all they can to bring the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth.
I will forever be grateful to the members of my congregation and the special people at UCP North and South for their help in making this story happen.
Pastor Jim McGee
Five Mountain Charge of the United Methodist Church
Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of helping with the Sports Auction and have recently joined the Community Relations & Development Committee. The organization has an incredible mission & vision and an even more awesome group of people who work to accomplish that vision & mission each and every day. Over the years of the auction, I've gotten to know a lot of people who have benefitted from UCP Central PA's programs & services and could say nothing but amazing things. UCP Central PA is truly dedicated to changing lives daily creating the ability for those they impact to "live life without limits".
It is bittersweet for me to be writing this review of my experience with UCP. Sweet because that’s honestly what it has been working as a Human Resources intern for the past couple summers, and then throughout this past school year as part of a school/work coop. Bitter because the co-op came to an early end, courtesy of COVID-19. During my time with UCP, I was able to shadow or experience a number of different aspects of the HR field: employee relations, employee record-keeping, recruitment, new hire training, and compensation/benefits. I learned that there are HR positions that are very people-oriented and others that are more process-oriented. What I liked most about my time at UCP was the closeness and collaboration of the HR team, and the way they support each other. To give you an idea, the entire HR group (and UCP President/CEO Janeen Latin) planned and executed a “car parade” outside my home on the day of my scheduled high school graduation this past June. I could not have been more surprised or touched by their collective kindness. It is definitely something I hope to find in whatever line of work I pursue after college.
I have also enjoyed volunteering for UCP events over the past 10+ years. I look forward to being able to help out at the Gift Wrap booth when I’m home for winter break, now that I hear it’s a go! I hope to see lots of return customers!!!
Disability Empowerment Center has used Changing Hands many times. Jackie is always very helpful and does her best to meet our requests. Our consumers have diverse needs with limited resources. Changing Hands has been a God send for when they need Adaptive equipment.
It is hard to believe that I have been working with UCP Central Pa for over 20 years -- I just cannot stop volunteering with such a great organization! The growth I have witnessed and the many successes and new services provided over the years have always come from a place of love for the individuals served. The staff have been and remain compassionate and caring for our "clients" and those folks and their families are all better for it. It is a wonderful place to give your time -- come help out!
I have been a volunteer for UCP Central PA for almost 20 years and have always felt that it is an outstanding organization. From the Board down to the folks providing services to the consumers and everywhere in between they are focused on improving the lives of their consumers. Over the years I have recruited many others to the UCP Central PA cause, and they have routinely thanked me. I am always proud to be associated with this fine organization!
I am thrilled with the relationship that my son Kenyay and I have developed with UCP staff over the years. Initially, UCP was more or less just this “entity” that we had limited interactions with. They began as our payment agency years ago. Then as Kenyay was growing up, we occasionally participated in some of their family activities, so he could be with people who “got him.” But his experience with CPS and employment services over the past several years has brought more faces and more ‘happy feelings’ (and even gainful employment) to our UCP experience. What has moved me most is how he has blossomed and grown during his time with UCP, in ways I had a hard time imagining he ever would.
I work for a not-for-profit CCRC in Mechanicsburg, PA and am often blessed to have gently used DME to donate to the larger community as our residents finish with their use of it. UCP's "Changing Hands" program gives us the opportunity to connect this medical equipment with folks who can put it to good use. I always appreciate their responsiveness to my calls to come pick up the equipment as it grows larger than my storage closet can contain.
I am fortunate to receive donations of gently used Durable Medical Equipment from residents and families here at Bethany Village when they no longer need them. It's wonderful to have a program like Changing Hands at UCP where I know these items will be refurbished and distributed to clients in the community who greatly benefit from them. I am glad to partner with Jackie Wardle and her team to make this happen.
John Bowen, Director of Social Services
United Cerebral Palsy of Central PA has always been there for me, starting when I attended their pre-school! In 2007, I applied at and was accepted at Messiah College. I completed my degree work there, and it would not have been possible without the help and support of UCP. I was able to live on campus, and UCP provided not only my personal care attendants, but my academic facilitator as well.
The last two summers of college, I was asked to intern at UCP in the department of Marketing and Communication. The members of the UCP staff treated me as one of their own, valued my opinions, and even implemented a card fundraiser that I designed. I felt empowered and was thrilled to be a part of the working world.
After graduation, I was asked to join UCP's Community Development Committee, and I have enjoyed participating in it ever since. It has given me the chance to offer input regarding upcoming events and the opportunity to put my skills as a writer to good use.
I am grateful to be part of an organization that is so dedicated to ensuring "life without limits" includes everyone.
I have been volunteering at UCP for over 12 years for the magic night gala and have really enjoyed working with the other committee members and the wonderful UCP staff
UCP of Central PA provides necessary services for so many people of varying abilities that across multiple counties through the Central PA area. Their impact is far reaching for the people and families they serve. They provide the utmost care and consideration to each person they serve by putting their needs and best interests at the forefront of all their decisions and purpose. As a board member, I have had the privilege to see the leadership team and staff live out their daily devotion to the mission, vision and purpose of this organization. Their positive impact and influence in the counties they serve, makes a long lasting difference in so many ways.
UCP Central PA is providing a myriad of services to its community, that are helping people of all ages accomplish more in their lives and live better lives. As a board member, I am frequently made aware of the impacts and life-changing efforts that they are making daily across Central PA.
I have been employed with UCP Central PA for just over 6 months. In this short time, I have grown not only professionally, but personally. I wake up every morning and am excited to go to work because I know that the staff here at UCP is dedicated to providing the very best programs and services to the individuals that we serve. It is because of my fellow team members that I have learned the true meaning of "Love without Limits."
Through my position as volunteer on the UCP Board, I have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful individuals that help make a difference in our community. This organization would not be what it is without the dedication of the UCP staff and volunteers. I am continually impressed with the people that I meet through UCP and am honored to be part of the UCP Family.
As an intern here at UCP I have learned that they truly care about everyone involved. They value every single employee. They value their staff, and most importantly, they value their consumers. During my stay as an intern, everyone in the office was always looking for me to reach my full potential, and continued to challenge me everyday. Incredibly thankful I got to work for this amazing organization.
I had the honor of being an intern at UCP Central PA this past summer and the experience was so incredibly rewarding in more ways than one. The work that they do for the community is amazing, to say the least. I was welcomed by the staff with open arms and they truly are a family. It is so inspiring to see nonprofits like this that do such amazing work and have such a positive work environment as well. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of something as inspiring as UCP Central PA.
My niece has Cerebral Palsy due to a trauma at birth. We weren’t sure what we could expect from her future. She began receiving OT services through UCP at 7 weeks old and PT services at about 6 months. With the help of these therapists my niece has been able to thrive. By three years old she was considered to have no significant delays. Now, thirteen years later, you would have to be told to even know she has Cerebral Palsy. UCP is a great organization with a staff that goes above and beyond for their clients. These employees care about their clients well after the client is no longer on their case load. My niece’s therapists still check in from time to time. My daughter was given a wonderful opportunity to intern for UCP, and absolutely loved it. She hopes to carry on this wonderful legacy of making a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
I have been honored to serve as a volunteer for UCP Central PA for over 8 years, and now proudly serve as the Chair of the Board of Directors. I was "hooked" on this organization from day one, and continue to enjoy being part of the UCP family that "Loves without Limits." Day in and day out (and without hesitation), staff and volunteers find ways to best serve each of the individuals we support as a whole person, as well as their families. They also help put them into position to meet their goals and set them up for future successes and growth. I am grateful for the opportunity to help others be their best and respond with the same care and compassion that my family has received over the years (as I have a brother with Down syndrome).
My relationship with UCP began a few years ago while volunteering at a fun-filled picnic for the Adult Day Programs. From that day on, I was "hooked" on this super-star organization and the top-notch services and support that it provides to individuals with disabilities and their families. Staff members and volunteers are extremely passionate and consistently go "above and beyond" what is asked of them to ensure that every person can "live a life without limits."
I was fortunate to be able to spend the summer as an intern in UCP's
Human Resources Department. During me time there I was able to shadow or experience several different aspects of the HR field: employee relations, employee record-keeping, employee recruitment, and new hire training. I learned that there are HR positions that are very people-oriented and others that are very process-oriented. The internship experience definitely increased my interest in considering a career in the HR field. I like the fact that there are so many different opportunities available and HR tracks to pursue. I also found the closeness and collegiality among UCP's HR Team to be something that I very much hope to find in whatever line of work I pursue down the road. I'd like to thank UCP CEO Judith McCowan and the entire HR team of the amazing opportunity and experience. I truly enjoyed my time working with you all and I look forward to returning to work with you over my school breaks.
I’ve been involved with UCP of Central Pa for over 10 years now. I wanted to give back to the community and I was familiar with UCP because a family friend had received services from birth on. I fully support their mission towards independence for people of all abilities. I’ve volunteered and served on the board and am forever committed to this incredible organization and it’s mission. Our family friend who first inspired me to get involved is now living in a group home and living with independence. My aunt is also receiving services and participates in one of their day programs. Over 10 years of being involved I grow more committed each day.
I've been familiar with UCP and its services for about 30 years now. My mom's best friend's daughter was born with Cerebral Palsy and we always spent a good deal of time together growing up. She benefited from UCP's Early Intervention Programs from a very early age and now in her adult life she participates in the Hanover Street Neighbors, which is a joint program between UCP and CPARC (I believe).
About 5 years ago I was enrolled as a student in Leadership Cumberland, a program for professionals which promotes community involvement. We were required to serve as an intern for a non-profit board so we could witness and learn how boards work. I didn't hesitate to volunteer for the UCP Board Internship. Over the past 5 years I have learned so much about the multitude of ways that UCP works with its consumers of all ages achieve independence. I've volunteered on several committees and have now served on the Board as a full member for 3 years. This all came full circle for me when I found out that my friend was going to be one of the consumers to move into our newest group home. I've talked with my mom's friend and while it was hard to move her daughter into a new place after taking care of her 30 years, her daughter absolutely loves her new home and they are all happy.
I have been an employee of UCP Central PA since December 2017. Professionally UCP has been great- all of my coworkers are helpful and kind, and I find myself doing meaningful, tactile work everyday that I believe truly advances UCP's mantra of "Life without Limits" for so many people in our community. I have had the opportunity to visit many of the programs that UCP administrates and am always impressed with how engaged, friendly, and knowledgeable they are.
One aspect of working at UCP that I have enjoyed is the opportunity to collaborate with other local volunteer organizations and nonprofits. I have been able to work on projects alongside the United Way, Highmark Health, Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources (PAR), and the DREAM Foundation, among others.
I am frequently surprised by how impassioned UCP employees are- whenever I am working through a problem with coworkers, I can tell that there is a genuine enthusiasm for helping differently-abled people and their families achieve autonomy and independence.
Overall, UCP Central PA is a great place to work, full of volunteers and employees who care about the mission statement and providing the best level of service for our clients.
This summer I was an intern in the Assistive Technology department at UCP. I am grateful for the experience and opportunities that I gained from the internship. Meeting and interacting with multiple families and individuals was honestly the highlight of my summer. The work environment and coworkers were very welcoming and supportive. I love UCP!
We are beyond grateful for UCP's Friday Night Respite services! My boys get to do something fun, and my husband and I get the break we need. The program is unique in that it takes all ages and siblings, too. The staff are amazing - they are truly passionate about what they do and always make it a welcoming, fun environment for the kids. They're experienced with the type of behaviors my boys might have, so we can have peace of mind when we're out.
My youngest son first received services from UCP 3 years ago. A developmental therapist came to our home once a week. I was impressed right away by how she was able to get my son to open up and actually try things (which were cleverly disguised as fun!). Eventually, my son started attending the inclusive preschool program at UCP's Capital Area Children's Center. A shy boy with speech delay graduated the program to enter kindergarten with great social skills and is up to speed with the other kids and beyond! We are so proud of him and so thankful to UCP! Both my sons have benefited from the Family Services activities, such as the Fall Fun Fair and Dance Night.
Our family has relied on UCP Central PA for years, participating in several of their programs. The Friday night respite care has been one of the most important programs. It is otherwise practically impossible to get reliable care for a child with special needs for some respite time. My son loves attending, and I know he’s in caring, trained hands! We use it on a regular basis and encourage others to use it as well.
I don't know what we'd do without UCP's respite! This is a place where my son with autism is completely accepted and well-cared for, and my "neuro-typical" son has a great time with friends as well. It is very difficult to find people to care for a special needs child, so when we learned about UCP's respite program, we were thrilled. We've used it for years and both our boys still love "respite night"! We parents get to spend a few peaceful, uninterrupted hours out on the town! Thank you, UCP, for this amazing program and to all the workers who make it possible.
UCP Central PA has been amazing for our family. Our youngest son attends Sibshop and gets so much out of that program. He has learned he's not alone in the struggle of dealing with a sibling who has autism. He has gained friends and a greater sense of confidence. Our family has attended many UCP sponsored programs like Family Fun Fair, picnics, and movie nights. These are all great programs to enjoy in an accepting and nonjudgmental atmosphere. We are very grateful for all UCP has done for the betterment of our family unit.
Daily caring for 4 ASD kids + 1 typical kid: exhausting
Preparing kids for an outing: tears and stress
Driving kids in van for an hour to reach UCP respite: hair-pulling madness
Date night with my husband knowing that my children are safe and properly cared-for: PRICELESS.
I can not begin to express how much UCP's respite program has done for my family. It is incredibly hard to be a care-giver for someone with disabilities. I love my children deeply, but my energy and patience are taxed to the max daily. It is because of this program my husband and I get the break and space we need to continue our labor of love as parents. I know that while I am out, my children's specific needs will be met. I know the staff working with them are capable and have experience with many behaviors. I don't have to worry if my children are going to have problems because these staff are so loving, giving and capable... my children had no problems accepting this new environment and, after a number of years, are never bored and enjoy going. Thank you for providing this phenomenal service!
Our son receives services from UCP's LifeFit program and he LOVES it! His trainer takes him to the YMCA twice a week where they work on strength training and cardio. Last week they participated in the Insane Inflatable 5 K together! We always know when they return home...you can hear them jamming out in the car to the loudest music ever! Awesome program!! Awesome Agency!
I spent the summer of 2017 working as an intern for their Camp Hill office. Excellent staff. Supportive environment. Ample learning opportunities. All-around experience.
I have been receiving services from UCP for many years. I have had the same coach for Lifefit for 6 years and she is the best LifeFit coach ever. My first hab aide helped me to get back into horseback riding, after not riding for 20 years. She helped me to become friends with people at the barn. I am very grateful for what she did. She and my other hab aides help me with cooking, reading, cleaning, and budgeting my spending money. My job coach at UCP trained me on how to use the office shredder. I really like everyone who has worked with me in the past and all those who are working with me now! Everyone is very nice and supportive.
We are fortunate to have peer agencies such as UCP Central PA in our area!! We work together to network resources for local persons. UCP is a great organization to work with and they help so many people!
As both a volunteer and a client served by UCP of Central PA, I feel privileged to be a part of this organization. UCP has always been there for me. As a college student, I interned at the local office and found great joy in doing so. This is an essential organization for so many!
I worked as intern for UCP of Central PA for the last two summers. I must say both internships were quite rewarding experiences. Not only was I included at every staff meeting during my stint at UCP, but also I was made to feel like I was an essential part of the team. I felt like my thoughts and opinions were deeply considered and appreciated when expressed. Both internships gave me great confidence in myself and to be expose to the working world. I saw I could make a difference in the lives of individuals, some who have disabilities similar to my own, mainly through my words.
UCP's staff makes it an incredible enterprise. The service providers and support staff are very dedicated to their work.
I have been involved in several volunteer opportunities through UCP - all of which have been wonderful experiences both for the participants and volunteers. UCP provides fantastic services to the local community. It is always a pleasure to be involved with such an awesome organization.
UCP offers a variety of events for families with children with disabilities. Our favorites are Family Fun Fair, Bowling, Monkey Jones and Christmas crafts. They are a wonderful opportunity for us to come in contact and maintain old friendships with other families that have kids with disabilities. The kids love these events, because they are a lot of fun, with a lot of attention for the little ones and low expectations for their performance.
We want to thank all the support you have given our family. Our family goes to all the family Activities, its a great way to meat families that have simular issues as you might have, they might know something you dont and pass it on to you. Its a great way to get more resorces and have fun with the family at the same time. My kids get to do things that they might not get to do other wise.
so thank you from the bottom of my heart, you make my kids smile and have fun
The children that I am raising all have special needs and UCP gives them opportunity to do things as a family to enjoy activities with out being hindered thank you very much.
I've been attending their family activities for the last 2 years and i find it and the people working behind the scenes to be a welcome break. my son who is now 6 1/2 has high functioning ASD and ADD and sometimes being out in the community and activities is harder because i have to make sure he is "not jumping all over the place". the family activities set up by UCP have always been fun and a safe zone. my neurotypical younger daughter also always has fun when we go!!! also, when i have reached out to them to ask about books or other help, they have been nice enough to share their own experiences in their own special needs journey.
This is an AMAZING organization. The ladies I get to interact with really care about these kids. My son gets to attend events that otherwise would be very difficult for him to attend. Their support is tremendous. My daughter attends the SibShops , which is wonderful. She is learning she is not alone, she is not the only one with an autistic brother! That some struggles are the same throughout different families. They have taken great time to get to know my kids! They know them by name, ask about them and genuinely care about them. so refreshing in today’s world. I highly recommend them for all of the services they provide.
I love to take my children to events hosted by UCP!! Everyone is SO KIND to us - all of the volunteers and families have been so wonderful. When my children need to have the activity altered or adapted, the volunteers go way out of their way to help make their experience great. We have done bowling, Monkey Joes, and holiday crafts.
Our daughter uses the respite program at Branch Creek Neighbors in Shippensburg, PA, and we are very thankful for that program. Our daughter enjoys being with the kind staff members that stay with her and my husband and I feel secure, knowing she is safe and happy for the weekend.
I love coming here to Pathways a new program at UCP because to learn new things like how to use money in different ways. Helping me to become independent to live on my own someday. coming here to Pathways I am doing really well on my skills that I wanted to work on before I came like my money skills , social skills , being independent. I really like it here at Pathways.
UCP has helped us in various ways through their Family Support Services, which are very helpful. We have a six year old son with an autism diagnosis, and their family fun events and parent trainings have helped us not only feel better connected to other families, but has also helped make us feel stronger as parents. The gamut of services is unmatched anywhere else. The staff show a true understanding of what it's like to have a loved one with special needs. They have supported us unconditionally whether it be through educational advocacy, or general support that helps remind that we can overcome any obstacle that comes in our way. ALL of us (not just our son) have greatly benefited from these services!
Our third child has a global developmental delay and we are fortunate to be involved for the last 4 years with UCP central PA. We have attended community events and workshops, SibShops., received advocacy for school placement and other family support services. Our child attends the options program and we are so proud of her achievements. I can't imagine this journey without the support of UCP central PA. We have been able to meet other families and learn from their experiences. We are learning balance and how to have fun and appreciate each of our kids and their different abilities.
I go to UCP’s Sibshops and also Respite night on Fridays. I like Sibshops because I get to be with other kids going through the same thing as me and it's fun. I'm glad i can be at Respite because you can play whatever you want and it's somewhere my brother can go. There is lots of fun stuff to do and they have crafts.
I just wanted to thank you for sending out the bike information back
in July. We could not be more grateful for the wonderful bike that
Maddie received! You have all been so wonderful and accepting of our
family. So thank you again from the bottom of our hearts :)
Felicia Mahan and Family
Have been involved through the Sports Auction for years - and a supporter through the auction for decades. Great organization with dedicated people. Always willing to go the extra mile for others.
All 3 of my children went to Options Childcare - awesome! 1 participated in Early Intervention services - also awesome! Great organization. Great people. Great volunteers.
Both of my children have received services from UCP Central PA and their help has been invaluable to our family. The providers and staff are generous with their time and they truly care about the children (and families!) they are helping!
I have been volunteering for UCP Central PA for over 5 years. I am an active member of the Magic Night Committee, which supports UCP Central PA's annual black tie fundraising effort. Through my involvement with the committee I was able to learn of the wonderful services the organization provides to children and individuals in our community. When our children were born my husband and I signed them up immediately for UCP Central PA’s inclusive day care facility (Capital Area Children’s Center). CACC provides a stimulating and nurturing environment for all of the children it serves.
Our wonderful and amazing son was born with a rare brain malformation. Not knowing what to expect we turned to early intervention to help evaluate and educate him. We picked 5 therapists that worked with our son and 4 of those came from UPC. We had the best experience with each of the therapists. Not only did they give therapy to our son they taught us as well. We have learned so much from what we need to do to help our son to where to go for resource material and help. The biggest most valuable thing our therapists helped us with was how to appreciate and cherish our son's accomplishments and not compare him to any other child. That means the world to us because we no longer dwell on what he can't do and are truly happy and blessed for our son being who and where he is today. Our son has benefited the most from our experience. It is because of the dedicated, caring, and talented therapists that he is able to now meet some awesome milestones. He can roll, high five, eat by mouth, activate toys, give hugs, give doggie kisses, and take steps in his gate trainer all because of the therapists that worked with him. This is only the beginning, because of the awesome foundations he received he will be able to build off them and we know he will achieve much more in life. The therapists are like family and we couldn't ask for more knowledgeable, wonderful people.
UCP is the only place anywhere near me that offers Sibshops for siblings of children with disabilities. It is well worth the 45 minute drive once a month for my daughter to be able to interact with a group of other kids who have differently abled siblings. The people who run this program are fantastic, truly caring people. We also utilize a respite program that uses one of UCP's adult day program centers, and we have always been pleased on how the UCP staff works with both our children....special needs or not. Highly recommend UCP!
My entire family has been blessed by the work of UCP. We have participated in a variety of activities, as a family, including the Christmas Craft Party and Swim Parties. My younger son has participated in a wonderful program called Sibshops for the siblings of children with disabilities. Both my boys have enjoyed trips to Monkey Joes as well as the Fall Family Fun Festival. All of these programs have been available to us for a nominal donation. We have definitely been blessed by the work of UCP and the terrific people that work there.
As a parent with a special needs son, UCP has been invaluable to not only our son, but to our entire family as well. We have been to UCP's many family functions as well as Sibshop for our neurotypical son. This is an amazing organization that is well run, always striving to improve, frequently seeks parental input, and is very supportive of the family as a whole, not just the person with special needs. We have recommended different programs within UCP to friends because we see the value in those programs and wish to pass the help along. We are so appreciative of all the work UCP has done over the years!
I worked with a few UCP homes during my time as a Supports Coordinator and with the staff and gentleman at Lisburn House for many years. The house supervisor considered herself , her staff and all the guys there as a part of her family. She was dedicated and hard working. She never shied away from a challenge and there were many. I looked forward to the days when I could visit. Diane not only talked the talk she walked the walk every single day. Staff at UCP homes where I was involved were always putting clients first and showing them how they could reach their full potential as individuals in their community. I miss those days and think of all the individuals often.
I volunteer once a week and work with many of the clients. They give me back as much as I give them. I help them learn, play, explore and do what I can to enrich their lives. They appreciate me and I appreciate our time together. They show a lot of joy with very little effort. I know they gain from the one on one I can provide. I go home with a sense of accomplishment and gratification.
I started volunteering for UCP last December after responding to a request on Volunteer Match. I’m enjoying working with the adults at the Colonial Park Alternatives Adult Day Program and they are glad to see me each week. I look forward to spending one-on-one time with folks who might not otherwise get that attention. While I’ve done a lot of volunteering, most of it has not involved this level of interaction. I’ve enjoyed learning what motivates each person, what they like to do. I like that the folks are getting the one-on-one time they need, and that they enjoy the activities I’m getting them involved with. They show their appreciation and let me know that I’m trusted and liked. At the same time, I’m learning talents and creativity I never thought I had. I feel good about what I’m doing for them and I feel it’s a way I can give back and help society.
I’ll be honest; volunteering for a program like Alternatives is a challenge that takes a lot of patience. But it also offers significant rewards. You help others who so badly need it. You help yourself by giving of who you are. You learn about the people and yourself. You learn over time that each person can be helped in his or her own way. You have to learn the ability levels of the folks and do what you can for each. For some it takes a lot; for others it’s just a touch and a smile.
My first introduction to UCP of Central PA was 7 years ago when my daughter received physical therapy services through the early intervention program and a therapist from UCP. Soon thereafter I began to learn more about the variety of services offered to not only children, but also adolescents and adults with disabilities, many of which have disabilities other than cerebral palsy. Compelled to give back to the community, I began volunteering with various committees and attending special events. A few years later I was asked to join the Board of Directors.
Through my experiences with UCP of Central PA, I have come to meet many great people and have witnessed the magic that this organization provides to the greater community we all live in. The staff, volunteers, and supporters all collectively serve the mission of providing for a life without limits for people with disabilities. This organization will always hold a special place in my heart.
Both my personal family members in the past, and all my 7th and 8th grade students are supported by UCP.
My older sister was supported until she died from complications of MS in 2006. Not only was she supported by them, so was her family. Her sons and husband owe so much to UCP for all their support and kindness. This is important to note that no other organization offered her and her family support other than pamphlets and to join support groups which she couldn't possibly get to their meetings.
And, my students are supported every year by the awesome ATTITUDES essay contest which not only gives them a voice, but also let's them be encouraged as young writers with a great choice of prompts.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to UCP!
I am a volunteer at one the UCP homes in Mechanicsburg and over the past several years making periodic visits to the residents and staff. I appreciate the love and care shown by staff for the residents, which requires tremendous patience at times. There is a unique and deep family bond which I have become very keenly aware of at the home between staff and residents. I get the opportunity to witness this love and care in action at each visit I make.
It has been enjoyable to get to know the the residents and staff and always look forward to visiting along with my 2 dogs, who are always lavished with love by the people there.
Most recently, it has been a pleasure to participate in going along with staff and residents on trips to places like City Island and Riverfront Park in Harrisburg for a pleasure walk across the Walnut Street Bridge and the Susquehanna River. Sitting on picnic benches on Riverfront Park and watching the sunset over the water is always a treat. Most recently, was a trip to Highland Gardens in Camp Hill with residents to pick out pumpkins, mums and decorations. It was a joy planting the flowers at their home afterwards. It always seems like time well spent when you see the residents and staff at UCP smile and get excited with these kind of activities.
I first began a relationship with UCP when I moved to the area and enrolled my son in the daycare program at the age of 17 months...he is now 24 years old and UCP remains a large part of our lives. I could not have asked for better services, more caring providers and more engaged professionals than my son and I were afforded from the UCP staff. My son is still receiving services from UCP; he is living independently now and thriving under UCP coaching staff; much of his success for lviing independently is due to the exceptional care and teaching from UCP personnel through the years. We have not only received services from UCP but have had the privilege to volunteer at many UCP functions and events and work with UCP management, staff and clients throughout the years. It has been an awesome 24 year relationship with UCP....my son, Logan would have no other agency but UCP to provide him services and enjoys little more than to spend time volunteering at UCP and engaging with the staff and other clients. Thank you for giving and giving back to our children and our community!
I began working with UCP on a professional level as a vendor filling some of their printing needs years ago. During this time I have come to know many of the wonderful people working there and have learned so much about their mission and the great work they do. Their dedication is amazing, and the stories I've heard of how UCP has changed lives are truly inspirational. I have also volunteered at their annual gift wrap fundraiser, which is a great way to get out and share some holiday "giving" spirit by doing your part for this great organization. I have nothing but positive things to say about everyone I've ever encountered at UCP!
I first became involved with UCP after taking a tour of the children's center and realized that this is an organization that is doing incredible work for our community. Over my years of volunteering with UCP I have to come to believe that we have a group of the finest staff and volunteers who do such wonderful work with individuals of all disabilities. Our community is so much stronger because of the dedicated work of UCP's staff and volunteers!
For many years I have been involved with a very special adaptive sports camp, Camp STAR. Several years ago, we went through a difficult time and were in danger of closing the camp. UCP came to the rescue. This all volunteer camp provides an opportunity to be competitive in adaptive sports such as scuba, wheelchair racing, kayaking and basketball, to name a few. UCP stepped up to help us continue to help others through this 3 day camp. Thanks UCP!
I have worked with UCP as an organizational partner, volunteer, and supporter for a number of years. Our church partners with many community organizations offering services to our area. UCP is the most effectively operated, caring and helpful organization with whom we work. All of their employees, staff and leadership are outstanding. We've introduced the joy of helping those with disabilities to many of our members through the years - largely because of our UCP partnership. Because of their leadership, both the lives of those being served and those serving are changed for the better.
I am the third generation in my family to volunteer, and be involved in, service work for UCP. I, personally, have found a link between the kids at UCP and my family at home. Volunteering at UCP for many years now has changed my outlook on how i live my life and how i treat others. The workers at UCP do not look at disabilities as a negative, but as a positive, life changing thing. I am involved in many activities and groups in UCP, and they all run well with the common theme of the better good for not only those involved in UCP, but others in the community, and even others nationally.
I work as an academic facilitator and advocate for a college student with multiple physical challenges. I became involved with UCP when, despite those challenges, their foundation office offered her an internship during the summers of 2012 and 2013.
The staff at the UCP Foundation office went far above the typical internship duties and assignments. They provided her with challenging and career specific opportunities to contribute to their organizational efforts. She was given the chance to write pieces for their newsletters, and they even used a project she designed as an on-going fund-raiser.
She was accepted and included as an integral part of their staff, included in meetings, and her input was sought on events they were planning. The entire staff provided such a positive experience for her and encouraged her career efforts and confidence more than most people will even know. Thank you to the entire UCP Foundation staff!
I have two children, one attended the daycare for two and a half years from age 3-5, the other has been enrolled in the daycare program since 12 weeks old and continues to attend. We moved our oldest child to the daycare center because of the smaller number of children in each room. She was at another daycare center where the class size increased to 18-20 children with 2 teachers at age 3. Not only did my daughter find that overwhelming, but I did too. At Capital Area Children's Center the classes have typically had 8-10 children with 3 teachers, thus providing much smaller classroom sizes, and a better teacher to student ratio, to allow more focus on educating the children. My youngest child has experienced the same situation with the 3 classrooms he has been in so far. The center always seems very calm and the teachers, regardless of classroom, know all the children's names. What we like most about the center is the way the children are taught to help one another through continual interaction with teachers, and are actively involved in creating a calm and orderly learning environment.