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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

UCP WORK Inc. is a charity that provides unique and important services to more than 600 individuals (from kids to seniors) with varying disabilities.

They have several different outreaches. One of them is the Children’s Community Integration Program (CCIP). This program offers fully staffed field trips such as therapeutic horseback riding, whale watching, children’s theatre, musical concerts, arts and crafts programs, adapted bowling, nature programs and much more. Special Education teachers select outings that relate to lessons taking place in the classroom. For example, the students may learn about reptiles and then visit the Natural History Museum’s “Lizard Lounge” to experience them firsthand, or a pre-school class of children with physical disabilities needing motor skills development may visit “Pump It Up” and enjoy bouncing and sliding on an inflatable jungle gym.

UCP WORK operates in California, in the Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara areas. The WORK organization actually started back in 1968, and the original mission was to empower people with disabilities to live with more independence. WORK stands for Workship Organized for Rehabilitation by the Kiwanis. In 2003, WORK merged with United Cerebral Palsey (UCP) to form UCP WORK Inc. They offer services throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties for children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, physical limitations and other neurological disabilities. UCP WORK, Inc. offers Supported Living Services, High School Transition Programs, Mentor and Youth Programs, as well as employment opportunities and social enrichment programs throughout Santa Barbara County and serves over 400 residents with significant disabilities.

I love their tagline: Life without limits for people with disabilities.

As with so many charities, funding has been cut over the years. They need your help to keep doing the work they’ve begun. If you can donate, even just a little bit, you’ll be helping make a difference in the lives of some very special people.

While I was unable to find anything definitive on charitey rating sites like CharityNavigaor or Guidestar, my confidence in this organization is increased when I consider how long they have been operating and how extensive their programs are.