My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Florida, Inc., Orlando, FL, USA
My first introduction toUCP of Central Florida came through a professional colleague. He told me that the organization was unlike any he had ever had the pleasure of serving and that the Executive Director, Ilene Wilkins was an amazing person - both professionally and personally.
My first visit was to tour their Administrative Offices and the Child Development Center located in downtown Orlando. Shortly after my arrival on site, the fire alarm sounded. The reaction of the UCP staff was immediate and focused - anyone who had arms was to pick up a child. Since I qualified, I did as I was instructed and picked up a 7 month old Down syndrome child who quickly wrapped his arms tightly around my neck (and my heart). The patience, professionalism and total dedication of the UCP staff on that very rainy day struck me. Their sole focus was on the safety of their 'kids' and nothing, not even their own personal safety, could deflect that focus. We all stood outside in a cold, pouring rain for nearly an hour while firemen checked every inch of the building. The staff sang songs to soothe the children; they checked every child individually and gave their own sweaters/coats to protect the children.
I have long been an advocate that staff professional responsibility, dedication and reliability is a direct reflection of management. In this case, however, I quickly realized that the staff did not display the conduct they did only because their management trained them well, but also, and possibly more so, because they truly love the children they so carefully and conscientiously care for. I am truly blessed and honored to serve these wonderful people as a member of their Board.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Witnessing personally the success their therapies, counseling and loving care have had on children who attend their campuses. One such child has, in a few short years, gone from being totally noncommunicative to singing in front of thousdands of fans at a natioanlly-ranked basketball team's basketball games.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Improve their internal and external communications.