On Monday, November 26th, Chelsea Groton Foundation presented UCP with a grant of $5,000 at UCP's board meeting. The grant will support under-served children and adults with diverse disabilities through UCP's Disability Support Program. UCP would like to thank Chelsea Groton Foundation for their generous support. Pictured above from left to right is Peg Morrison, Executive Director of UCP, Dave Hammerstrom from Chelsea Groton Bank, and Dawn Mather, President of UCP's Board. More information on the Disability Support Program can be found here: http://www.ucpect.org/services/community-services
UCP would like to thank Charter Oak Credit Union for their generous grant of $1,000 to support the Disability Support Program received on November 26th. This grant will help under-served children and adults with diverse disabilities through UCP's Disability Support Program. Pictured above is Michelle Bussolotti, Disability Support Coordinator. More information on the Disability Support Program can be found here: http://www.ucpect.org/services/community-services
On Friday, November 16th, clients in UCP's Old Saybrook Day Program enjoyed music therapy. Clients sang and danced to the music of Kendra Alling from Progressions Music Therapy Services. A good time was has by all who participated!
Last week (November 5-9), UCP celebrated staff appreciation week at our Quaker Hill, Old Saybrook, and Groton offices. Each day was dedicated to the following theme and food category:
Monday - Theme: You take the cake! Cupcake decorating contest where staff decorated, took picture, and voted on cupcake winner(s). Food: Cupcakes!
Tuesday - Theme: I elect you because…Voting booth with superlatives, such as: best client advocate, best team player, funniest, most creative, etc. FOOD: Breakfast!
Wednesday - Theme: "UCP soars thanks to our staff" with poster with an eagle in the center and words/phrases around it that exemplify why. Food: Pizza lunch!
Thursday - Theme: You put the YOU in “YOU”CP. Team t-shirt day! Food: ice cream sundaes!
Friday - Theme: VOTING RESULTS Day luncheon. Food: 6 foot long sub!
UCP would not be able to fulfill our mission to advance the independence and full citizenship of people with disabilities if it weren't for our dedicated, talented, and caring staff. Each day you come to work, you make the lives of people with disabilities better. You really do make a difference and are appreciated!
Fencing, art, music, and jewelry making -all are just a few of the activities available to people with disabilities in Bursa Turkey at a place called, "Our House." This September, UCP's Disability Support Coordinator, Michelle Bussolotti, ventured to Turkey to learn about how services are offered to people with disabilities and to offer her expertise. Our House was among one of the programs Bussolotti visited and is a social program offered free of charge to children as young as five to senior citizens with diverse disabilities. "Many people I work with who have disabilities feel isolated and alone. What is inspiring about this program is how it breaks that isolation and empowers people with disabilities. Our House is really like a club for its members. I would imagine a number of people I work with would be interested in having a program like this in the States," Bussolotti elaborated. Our House also has an on staff psychologist who helps families get connected with the proper supports, much as Bussolotti does at UCP of Eastern Connecticut.
Bussolotti's trip to Turkey was part of a program entitled, "Young Turkey/Young America Nonprofit/NGO/Grassroots Leaders Exchange Program" through the Global Training and Development Institute and University of Connecticut Nonprofit Leadership Program. The program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and sought to exchange 16 professionals from each country in similar fields to form US/Turkish relations and learn from each other. Last June, Ayşe Hacıoğlu from Bursa's City Council visited UCP to learn about how American non-profits are structured and how services are delivered to people with disabilities. Hacıoğlu coordinates efforts to serve people with disabilities, as well as youth and women through mobilizing volunteers. In Turkey, volunteers provide substantial support to non-profits, or civil society organizations or NGO's as they are referred to in the country.
Many people with disabilities in Turkey are cared for at home with their families. Programs like Our House serve as a form of respite for families. Hacıoğlu and Bussolotti plan to continue their collaborations in the future. Hacıoğlu would like to initiate a public awareness campaign to help families know what services are available. Though there are wonderful programs like Our House available, many families do not know about them. Bussolotti intends to continue to serve as a support as Hacıoğlu increases awareness of services. Both fellows learned a lot from each-other's countries and plan to use that knowledge to better the lives of people with disabilities in both countries.
United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Connecticut celebrates the first annual World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day today, September 7th, with the launch of the World Cerebral Palsy Challenge, an international awareness and fundraising campaign designed to provide critical funds in support of people living with cerebral palsy. The official World CP day started Tuesday, September 4th, but due to inclement whether, UCP had to wait till today to kick-off the challenge at Poquonock Plains Park in Groton.
UCP’s Disability Support Program is Funded by:
United Way, Chelsea Groton Foundation, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Dime Bank Foundation, Eastern Federal Bank Foundation, Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, People’s United Community Foundation, RS Gernon Fund, AT&T, Bellows Fund, Pfizer's United Way contributions, Miracle Temple Church, Travelers, Niantic Lions, CT Elks, Kostin Ruffkess, Electric Boat Employees Community Services Fund, UCP fundraisers and individual contributions.