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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

UCP Central PA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services

Mission: The mission of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Pennsylvania, Inc., a 501 (c)( 3), non-profit charitable organization, is to assist infants, children, youth, and adults, with disabilities, and their families, achieve their goals of development, growth, independence, and full citizenship.

Target demographics: people of all ages and abilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: by providing both community and center-based programs and services to nearly 3,800 individuals with disabilities and their family members.

Geographic areas served: Centre, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northern York, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, and Union counties

Programs: Services for Children, Youth, & Families UCP Central PA Provides Wide Ranging Services for Children of All Abilities Services for Adults with Physical Disabilities UCP’s Community Support Services Provide Comprehensive Services for Adults Aged 18-59 with a Physical Disability Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities UCP Central PA Provides a Vast Network of Support for Adults with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities Services for Seniors UCP Central PA Provides In-Home Care and Service Coordination for Seniors

Community Stories

104 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

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).

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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."

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

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.

Autumn B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

T.Stock

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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).

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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."

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

UCP of Central PA represents to me, one of the best examples of an organization that is working well both internally with their staff and management to create an environment that fosters their success and externally to those they serve in the Central PA community. With these two facets well in place, this organization continues to model the very best ways to provide services that benefit those developmentally challenged and their families.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1 Christina F.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Shawn Wright L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 4

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

ExecDir M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!