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A Wonderful Gift

Today is "Giving Tuesday," and so we felt it very fitting that we received a check in the amount of $226 today from Tony Bradfield, a high school student in Vale, Oregon.

As part of his senior year requirements, Tony had to do a senior project.  He chose to raffle off a Honda 200S that he had purchased and donate the proceeds to his chosen charity, United Cerebral Palsy.

First though, he had to put in many hours of work to get the car running. Then he sold the raffle tickets, which involved attended all of his school's football and volleyball games. 

When asked why he chose UCP, Tony said the answer was simple.  His mother has cerebral palsy and a UCP affiliate in Idaho (sadly, no longer in existence) helped her to walk by assisting her to buy her first leg brace.

As Tony says, “This was my way of saying thank you." He says it's too easy to "take for granted the act of simply walking."

Thank you, Tony, for thinking of UCP, and congratulations on completion of your senior project! 

Tags: news

Meet Karen

UCP believes that everyone has the right to live in their own house or apartment, so we provide supported living services to over eighty adults who experience disabilities. Meet one of the people we support: Karen.

Karen loves her independence and she loves living in her own apartment. But she finds it tough to make plans or cook meals, and she becomes disoriented easily. So she is partnering with UCP's employees to learn new skills to increase her independence. She's also learning to make and follow a weekly schedule.

Another of Karen's big goals is to make new friends in her apartment building--a tricky task for her, since she is naturally shy. With a little encouragement from UCP, Karen found the courage to begin attending a weekly exercise class that takes place in her apartment building. At first, Karen relied on her staff to facilitate her interactions at the class, but as time went on Karen took the lead, and now she has several friends.

Her new-found confidence is also helping her feel comfortable leaving the apartment building. Once upon a time, Karen was afraid to leave the building--she was worried that someone might take it away if she said or did the wrong thing. Today, Karen ventures out all the time. She's making new friends and learning new skills and loving her life.


To learn find out more about UCP's supported living services, click here.


November Is Family Caregiver Month

Did you know?

President Obama proclaimed November 2012 as National Family Caregivers Month in honor of all the caregivers who care for their families, friends, and neighbors. Some of the people UCP supports receive care from parents, husbands and wives, and other family members.

Read the Presidential Proclamation on National Family Caregivers Month here.

Tags: news

2012 UCP Recognition Award Recipients Announced

Below, you will find the results of the 2012 UCP Recognition Awards.  The awards were presented at the Annual Meeting Luncheon at the Family Conference on November 2nd

Congratulations to all of the 2012 honorees!

Tags: employees, news, pws

A Community for Everyone

What does “community” mean?  And where do you find it?  These were some of the questions posed by Gregg Mozgala, the keynote speaker at our 15th UCP Family Conference, which was held on November 2nd in Portland. 

As someone who has been fully included throughout his life, Gregg pondered where he would find the “disabled community” of which he is ostensibly a part.  He found it within the conference setting, where parents, self-advocates and professionals came together for two days to connect, learn and be inspired. 

Gregg started a production company a few months ago dedicated to “producing full-length plays about the disabled experience” in New York City, where he lives.  The name of the company, The Apothetae, was also the name of a place in ancient Greece where children born with disabilities or deformities were left to die – left to be exposed to the elements.  Gregg chose this name for his company with the intention of exposing the world to the experiences of the disabled. 

Want to find out more about Gregg and his vision? Visit the "NEWS" section of Gregg’s website here, where you can read a story about community that he did not have time to share at the conference.

At the conference, Gregg and the other participants were able to make new connections and find hope and possibilities for the future. Now that the conference is over, you can still make connections through parent support groups, family outings, and email and Facebook exchanges. Find out more about UCP's family support services here.

What does community mean to you and your family?  Let’s keep talking…


On the Job For 90 Days

In Employment Solutions, UCP's supported employment division, we support adults with disabilities so that they can find and keep their dream jobs. Employment Solutions is pleased to announce that one of our customers, Max, has successfully completed 90 days working as a Service Agent at Enterprise Rent a Car!

Max has made a plethora of new friends at work and Max's supervisor, Allison, says that Max is an “easy-going, dedicated hard worker." Congrats to Max on a stellar 90 days! Keep up the good work!

To find out more about Employment Solutions, click here.


UCP Is One of the 100 Best!

We are pleased to announce that UCP ranked as #31 among large employers on the 2012 list of the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon. The study was coordinated by Oregon Business

 
For more information on 2012’s 100 Best Nonprofits list, click here.
 
Tags: news, staff news

Village Ballroom Keeps It Clean

Are you planning a fundraiser? Maybe a wedding? Perhaps a concert, reception, banquet, ball, or zumba class? Consider booking your next event at The Village Ballroom in Northeast Portland. Owner Ryan Saari partnered with UCP’s supported employment program (Employment Solutions) and recently hired Travis to keep this historic landmark in pristine condition.

Travis cleans the picturesque ballroom that once hosted a nationally famous pool hall frequented by the infamous Fats Domino. Travis also washes the huge windows that look over Dekum Street, where the Dekum Streetcar ran back in the early 1900s. Today, there is no streetcar or Fats Domino, but The Village Ballroom is extremely busy. Luckily, Travis is there Monday through Thursday mornings to make sure everyone can fully enjoy the space.

Later this year, owner Ryan Saari will be opening the downstairs portion of the ballroom as The Oregon Public House, purported to be the world’s first non-profit brewpub. Every quarter, Saari will select up to five local non-profits, and equally donate all the net proceeds. Travis will be working down there, too.

Please support employers who value a diverse workplace. Visit The Village Ballroom’s website here.

    • Travis

Meet Jace

Jace is supported in UCP's Community Inclusion program, and is a vibrant and determined young man.

Jace has been the leading force in jumpstarting UCP's community garden plot. He has brainstormed and collaborated to find a place for everyone, whether it be figuring out accessibility for someone who uses a power wheelchair or finding a way for someone to get involved without getting dirty.

Jace is extremely creative, bright and inventive. These qualities are expressed often in his innovative forms of communication. Jace uses a brilliant mix of spoken words, ASL, his Dynavox communication device, body language, and contagious bursts of joy. He enthusiastically introduces himself and reaches out to new people wherever he goes. He is tenacious in explaining to others what he means, and revels when the communication is successful.

Gregarious Jace recently befriended a family from Laos at UCP's community garden plot. Their interactions were full of warmth and generosity and very few words.  Lu loaned Jace a Laotion garden tool, and graciously proceeded to help weed UCP's plot. Jace shared his gratitude and made sure to remind Lu that whenever she needs a hand in return, he is ready and willing to assist.

Thanks to hard work from Jace and everyone else involved in the garden project, lettuce, kale, potatoes, berries and tomatoes have been planted; compost has been started; all paths to the garden have been made accessible; rocks have been painted to decorate the space; and composting will soon begin at the UCP offices as well.

Jace lives his life knowing not only that he is part of his community, but that he creates a sense of community wherever he goes. Thanks, Jace!

To find out more about Community Inclusion at UCP, click here.



UCP Tries Out a New Accessible Fishing Platform

Fishing can be a challenge for people with disabilities. There are rocky or hilly shores and inaccessible boats. Luckily, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is constantly seeking opportunities to improve accessibility so that people with all abilities and needs visit and enjoy their facilities.

Recently, Fish & Wildlife invited some of the people supported by UCP to try out a brand new accessible fishing platform. It was a day filled with fun, laughter—and, of course, fishing!

Read more about it at Fish & Wildlife’s blog.


What a Great Walk, Roll 'n' Run!

A fantastic day was had by all at this year's Walk, Roll 'n' Run, which was held September 8th. Thanks to everyone who participated and volunteered! We'll be posting more information soon.


Walk, Roll 'N' Run Update


Do you want to join UCP for our largest special event of the year--the 8th annual Walk, Roll 'n' Run which will be held this Saturday, September 8th? If so,

you should know that today is your last chance to register online, as online registration closes tonight (September 6th) at midnight.

 

You are welcome to register at the event itself, but day-of-event registration will cost $30 instead of $25.

 

In other WRR news, we are pleased to report that we have raised $62,000 so far--we are so close to our goal of $80,000!

 

If you'd like to find out more about the event, sign up to participate, or start a team, visit the event website.


The Walk, Roll 'n' Run Is Right Around the Corner!


We are getting excited to see you all on September 8th at this year's Walk, Roll 'n' Run--UCP's biggest special event of the year!  We've already raised almost $45,000, which means we're halfway to our goal.

 

If you'd like to find out more about the event, sign up to participate, or start a team, visit the event website.

 

And don't forget: the top fundraisers will receive wonderful donated prizes. Here are the prizes for people who raise funds as indivudals:

 

 

  • $200-$499: receive a UCP water bottle
  • $500-$999: receive a $25 gift card
  • $,1000-$2499: receive a $50 gift card
  • $2,500 and over: receive a $100 gift card

Important Information:


  • Event Date: September 8, 2012
  • Event Site: 1515 SE Water Ave. (RiverEast Center parking lot) 
  • Parking is available in the gravel overflow lot for OMSI located at Water Ave. and Main.  Enter the lot on Main.  Look for event signage!    
  • Packet pick-up will be on September 7th at the Foot Traffic store downtown from 12:00pm - 6:00pm.  824 SW 2nd Ave. Portland 97204 
  • 5k & 8K run start at 9:00am 
  • Walk/Roll starts at 10:30am 
  • A delicious lunch provided by Papa Murphy's and The Old Spaghetti Factory will be served starting at 11:00am.
  • Whole Foods Market will be providing fruit and other goodies starting at 9:30am. 

SEE YOU ON SEPTEMBER 8th!


Meet Tino & Tyler

Congratulations to Tino and Tyler, who have recently completed their first ninety days of employment at Lowe’s in Wood Village.

One of UCP’s Employment Specialists, Nicholas Von Pless, worked with Lowe’s HR Manager, Mary Walker, to secure positions as Loaders for both Tino and Tyler. Their positions involve loading large parcels into customers’ vehicles, spotting for forklifts, and assisting customers to locate different items while delivering a high level of customer service. Without fail, Tyler always thanks his customers with a firm handshake. Tino responds to calls on his walkie-talkie with the speed of a cheetah.

Tino feels such a sense of pride and independence working at Lowe’s that he is now making the transition from foster care to his own apartment. Tyler has exceeded the expectations on every shift, and his manager is currently pressing to make him a full-time staff member. Stop in on the weekends and say hi!

Please support employers who value a diverse workplace. Visit this Lowe location at 1000 Wood Village Boulevard, Wood Village, OR 97060

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    • Tyler
    • Tino
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Dine Out For UCP

Want to eat great food and raise money for UCP at the same time? Well, then you need to attend our next UCP Dine Out fundraiser!

The event will be held at at Good Neighbor Pizzeria 800 NE Dekum Street on September the 11th from 3pm to midnight. 10% of all proceeds will go to UCP, and we'll be using the money to fund parties, potlucks and prizes.

Please encourage your families and friends to stop by!


The Rose City Rollers Partner With UCP

If you've attended UCP's Walk, Roll 'n' Run, then you have seen the Rose City Rollers in action.

Since then, our partnership has only grown. Their founder and Executive Director, Kim Stegeman (aka Rocket Mean), spoke this year at our annual "Friends Breakfast".  She talked about how excited she was to find an event that has the word "roll" in the title, and how much she enjoys being part of the UCP community.

The Rose City Rollers will be rolling along with participants at this year's Walk, Roll 'n' Run.  They are also working with us to put together a "Family Skate Night" outing in the near future, so stayed tuned for details on that. 

Find out more about the Rose City Rollers here.  


A Neighborhood Gym Stretches Its Horizons

UCP’s supported employment program (Employment Solutions) assists people who experience developmental disabilities to find, secure, and keep employment. All jobs are competitive and pay fair wages.

Andrew is an intelligent, hard-working, and amiable young man. He and his mother are members of the Cascade Athletic Club, and Andrew has been volunteering there since January. Andrew has proven himself a valuable contributor. He cleaned and sanitized with impeccable attention to detail, and club members and employees alike enjoyed his presence. He even had a new nametag; it read Sir Andrew.

A couple months ago, Nicholas Von Pless (an Employment Specialist at UCP) started supporting Andrew. Andrew told him that one of his goals was to earn money at the club, so Nicholas met with Scott, the club manager, to see if Andrew could find a pathway to employment. Scott said that Andrew brought great value to the club, but that possible employment was still far off – maybe not even until the fall!

Luckily, Nicholas had ideas about how to ensure that Andrew was able to secure paid employment.  Nicholas reinforced Andrew’s training and expanded his responsibilities. Then Nicholas talked with Scott about Andrew’s increased productivity.

The next day, Scott offered a paid position to Andrew. Today, you can find Andrew on weekday mornings vacuuming, cleaning, doing equipment repairs, and greeting all the members.

Please support employers who value a diverse workplace. Visit Cascade Athletic Club’s website here.

    • Andrew

The 2012 Walk, Roll 'n' Run

Are you ready for this year's Walk, Roll 'n' Run?

This is our 8th annual Walk, Roll 'n' Run, and it will be held on Saturday, September 8, 2012.

Our fundraising goal is $80,000 and every penny raised will go towards funding our Family Support Department.  Family Support provides resources, support, respite and hope to families raising children with cerebral palsy.

Hundred of people come together to walk/roll around a  2.5 mile course around the Esplanade or to run a 5K or 8K run along the Springwater Corridor. Participants will be able to hang out with the Rose City Rollers and Cruze from 105.1 The Buzz. Lunch will be provided by Papa Murphy's and The Old Spaghetti Factory. 

 

Visit the event website to register, and watch the five minute video on the home page with photos of past events. You can start a team, join a team, sponsor a team, or make a general donation. Every bit helps! Also, please note that volunteers are always needed to make this event successful - go to the website to sign up.  

 

Be sure to buy your raffle tickets for your chance to win some really great prizes like a handmade quilt made of past year's event T-shirts and an autographed Portland Timbers soccer ball!  We also have a basket of hip knee high socks from Sock it to me along with an autographed Rose City Roller's t-shirt and tickets to a derby game!    


A Little Help From Some Friends

Over the past couple of months, we have been touched by the outreach we have received from individuals in the community.  We are always very appreciative of each and every donation , as every bit truly does count! We would like to take a moment to recognize two supporters who have really gone above and beyond.

Jeff Snell reached out to UCP as he was preparing to train for his second marathon, pushing his son Micah in a jogging stroller.  Micah is an adorable 2 year old who happens to have cerebral palsy.  Jeff and his wife Suzie decided that they would like to turn Jeff and Micah's training into a fundraiser for UCP.  In their words, "It's been a challenging first two years for Micah and we want to make sure that other kids get the same kind of support that has helped Micah do so well."  

Jeff and Suzie formed the website www.micahsmiles.org with the goal of raising $2620.00 ($10 for every mile in a marathon) for UCP.  As Jeff says, "I run because I can.  When I get tired, I remember those who can't run, what they would give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them.  I know they would do the same for me."  

On June 14th, Micah and Jeff completed the Vancouver Marathon and exceeded their fundraising goal!  Way to go Micah's Miles!

Another community member, Steven, called to inform us that he and his friend would be running in the Sherwood Mud Run, and would be collecting donations for UCP in honor of a friend's brother, Nicky, who had cerebral palsy and recently passed away. They wanted to support to Nicky's family and to honor his memory in a positive way.  We are pleased to report that "Team Nicky" raised $520 in donations. 

It really is heartwarming to see what community can do.  Thanks to everyone who has generously given in honor and support of others through UCP.


A Big Trip

    • Brenda Smelling Sage Brush
    • Brenda in Central Oregon by Farm
    • Brenda at Ranger Station
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Editor’s Note:

UCP supports adult with disabilities so that they can live in their own houses and apartments. One of the things our staff do in this program is to support people to take trips and vacations.

Recently, a person we support (Brenda) and her Personal Assistant (Margaret) took an exciting trip.

 

Here is what Margaret has to say about their adventures:

It was around Mother’s Day that Brenda got the idea to take a trip to Central Oregon. She said she’d like to visit Madras, Bend, and Sisters. Maybe even Prineville.

In early June we loaded up the Suburu and headed east on Highway 26. We decided to listen to some 80’s music with lots of keyboards. “Keyboards, keyboards, keyboards!” Brenda exclaimed. (Brenda has been known to rock out on the keyboards pretty hard, given the opportunity.)

Our first stop was in Sandy, where we perused a thrift shop run by friendly older folks. Brenda purchased some videos. Then we went to the Chamber of Commerce, where Brenda gathered pamphlets and local newspapers, two things that Brenda loves to collect.  Next we stopped at the Ranger Station and took Brenda’s picture with Smokey.

Nearby, an Information Center beckoned. We found it to be full of maps and more pamphlets. We hit the road once more, crossing over Mt. Hood and into the rain shadow. Our next stop was Warm Springs. There, we happened upon a most intriguing thrift store. Brenda purchased some DVDs and we moved on.

We pressed on to Madras. Naturally, we stopped at the Visitors’ Center (more pamphlets!), and then did a walkabout, during which Brenda admired the local flora. She picked a couple of desert blooms, stopping to sniff them every so often for the rest of the walk.

An hour later we were in Bend, the bustling metropolis of the High Desert. It was beautiful, and also quite a bit colder than we had anticipated. We bundled up and walked around the downtown area, where Brenda chose to dine at the McMenamins Old St. Francis School. It was crowded and loud with the Friday night dinner rush, but Brenda seemed right at home there. Her many years spent working at another McMenamins, The Kennedy School, showed in the ease with which she navigated the space.

The time had come to return to our homeland in the west. We stopped to visit the cows, to pick sage, and to watch the sun setting behind the buttes before driving home.

Now we’re busying thinking about a trip to Sisters and Salem.