Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Names from left to right
Standing:  Oliver, Clemmie, Luke, Kalan, Alex
Sitting: Olivia, Sincere, Emmie & Riker

Please join us in congratulating our 2021 Preschool Graduates. We are so proud of the growth they have achieved during their time at UCP. They are going to go on to do amazing things!

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week at UCP we are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week! We’d like to thank our teachers Chloe, Gabby, Janet, and Marcia for all the vital work they do with our preschoolers. In a year with many challenges they adapted and overcame these obstacles to provide an excellent learning experience for their students. That dedication and hard work is admirable and greatly appreciated!

Thank you Williams!

UCP of Mobile would like to thank our local Williams office for their donation of cleaning supplies to the Mobile offices. These supplies are invaluable in keeping our offices sanitized and our clients safe! UCP greatly appreciates this donation and everything our local Williams office does for UCP.

#UCPSpotlight – Ginny and Seth McKinley

United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile is happy to present the #UCPSpotlight Series. Each month we will be featuring clients, staff, board members, volunteers and programs! There are no shortage of incredible stories from our organization and we are proud to share some of them with you.

Ginny McKinley is a familiar face for many people acquainted with United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile. Ginny is UCP’s resident “T-Shirt Expert ” and runs United Cerebral Palsy’s Casual Day Program, one of UCP’s largest fundraising efforts. “Casual Day is a t-shirt fundraiser throughout the city that helps to fund programs for individuals with disabilities from birth through adulthood. Offices collect orders from their employees and allow them to have a “casual day” where they wear their casual day shirt to work to show support of United Cerebral Palsy and their mission of Life Without Limits,” says Ginny of her program. 

Ginny has been an employee of UCP’s for over 6 years, but her involvement with the organization goes back more than 25 years, when her son Seth entered UCP’s Preschool Program at the age of three. When asked about Seth’s diagnosis, Ginny said, “Seth was diagnosed at the age of two-and-a-half with PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) which is now classified as Autism.”

Prior to attending UCP Preschool, Seth had attended Easter Seals Play Therapy. It was here that he was referred to UCP’s Preschool at the age of three. When Seth attended Preschool, his autism made it difficult for him to sit still during classroom circle time. “Keri Drew was his teacher and used a little red car as his chair,” Ginny mentions of Preschool’s solution to this problem. In addition to attending preschool, Seth received Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and as an adult attended the Adult Day Program.

The way that Autism is experienced by the individual is as unique as the person with the diagnosis. Seth happens to be nonverbal, but he began communicating through typing at the age of 13 and later began writing to express himself. When asked about what his disability means for him and his life, Seth writes, “My disability is difficult to sum up. My inability to talk hinders my entire life. People don’t understand that I am intelligent and I am not the person they perceive me to be. Autism is a life that affects the entire family. Nothing is typical.” For Seth, some of his greatest challenges manifest in the way that he sees his Autism. “Autism is a monumental disorder, we seem lost but we are just trapped like fog in the morning, trapped between places, mist and water. Autism is like that, trapped between what we are and what we are supposed to be.” Seth says. As for things he enjoys, “My favorite things are all things Disney, Disney World, Disney movies, Disney books, Disney music. I love movies but mostly animated ones,” Seth said. 

For UCP, the story of Seth and Ginny is one that is encountered a lot – the introduction to one of our programs that begins a lifelong relationship between UCP and an individual person. “Ever since Seth was in preschool at age 3, I have wanted to work for UCP. As an organization, UCP makes such a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities and I wanted to be a part of that in any capacity,” said Ginny. As for Seth, “I am proud to be a part of my Mom’s homework.” 

Thank you, Ginny and Seth, for so bravely opening up to us about your story. The experiences of those with Autism and their families can be difficult, but we know your story helps those with similar experiences in knowing they are not alone. Given that April is Autism Awareness Month, we encourage readers to seek out more resources of individuals with Autism talking about their experiences. 

Please look forward to more features like this each month. And to make sure you don’t miss out on next month’s #UCPSpotlight, sign up for our newsletter HERE. If you or a family member would like to share your experience with our organization, please contact us at 251-479-4900.

UCP Patriotic Tee

UCP of Mobile’s mission is simple – promoting the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. For us, Independence Day is every day!

Click the link below to be a part of continued independence for those with disabilities in our community. 

#UCPSpotlight – Sarah Sumrall

Written by: Lauren Luckie

Sarah and her husband Dennis enjoying the company of their rescue dog, Gail.

United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile is happy to present the #UCPSpotlight Series. Each month we will be featuring clients, staff, board members, volunteers and programs! There are no shortage of incredible stories from our organization and we are proud to share some of them with you.

Introducing Sarah Sumrall, a member of UCP’s Board of Directors. Sarah has been a member of the board since the start of 2020. For the last 17 years, Sarah has been employed at Crowne Health Care of Mobile. She acts as their Social Services Designee, making her an important advocate for the residents and their families.

Sarah is a Mobile, Ala. Native, having attended Baker High School, Faulkner State Community College (now Alabama Coastal Community College), and the University of Mobile. When she is not at work, she enjoys time with her husband and their rescue dog, Gail.

Fitting with March being National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, Sarah opened up a bit about her own experience having cerebral palsy. “I’m blessed to have a mild case [of cerebral palsy] on my left side. I’ve never considered myself disabled and my CP only has small impacts on my daily life. CP has helped me have empathy for others.” When addressing one of the biggest misconceptions about cerebral palsy, Sarah said, “People often misconstrue CP as always affecting a person’s cognitive abilities, but it often does not.” CP has gotten Sarah to find a few creative work-arounds for some everyday tasks. “For example, I can tie my shoes with one hand,” Sarah says.

How did Sarah’s path lead her to her current involvement with UCP of Mobile? “I interned with UCP my senior year at the University of Mobile,” she mentioned. Having that experience under her belt, Sarah was later invited to become more involved with the organization by close, personal friends. “UCP has done an excellent job given the challenges [of COVID-19]. We’ve aggressively promoted our fundraisers, which reduced the unavoidable drop in fundraising and made sure our mission continued.”

As our community slowly starts to open back up, Sarah expressed her excitement about getting more personally involved with the mission of UCP: promoting the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. When asked about something she was surprised to learn about UCP as a board member, Sarah stated “the many ways UCP is involved in the community, such as the electronics recycling program.”

Thank you, Sarah, for opening up to us about your story! Please look forward to more features like this each month. If you or a family member would like to share your experience with our organization, please contact us at 251-479-4900.

Let the Good Times Roll in 2021

UCP is once again planning to celebrate Mardi Gras in style! Purchase a UCP Mardi Gras Tee or a Mardi Gras Mask. COVID may have changed the way we celebrate this year, but we hope to keep the spirit alive with this fun and festive Mardi Gras gear!

Stay safe in style by purchasing one of our Mardi Gras Masks. This mask boasts many Mobile Mardi Gras staples!
UCP’s “Mask Up and Let the Good Times Roll” Tees are the perfect thing to commemorate the 2021 Mardi Gras season. Available in three unique colors, two brands, and different sleeve sizes, there is sure to be something for everyone.
UCP is selling Mardi Gras Flags for your homes and businesses. Flags are available in three unique sizes:
1.) Garden Flag, 2.) 3′ x 5′ Flag (both a sleeve and grommet option available), 3.) Banner Flag 5′ x 9′. This flag encompasses many Mobile Mardi Gras Traditions. Chief Slacabamorinico and Folly lean against a cowbell emblazoned with the logo of Mobile’s first ever parading society, the Cowbellion de Rakin Society. In the corner, a Moonpied logo is embedded in the classic UCP swoosh!

2021 Super Bowl Butts & Ribs Sale

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner. Make the celebration easier and order your game-day feast ahead of time. UCP is teaming up with award-winning Wild Bunch Butt Burners Cooking Team for our Butts and Ribs sale! Boston Butt and Racks of Ribs will be prepared ahead of time and packed for easy reheating. The deadline to order is February 1st so make sure to get your order in today! Visit the link below to put in your order and if you have any questions call (251) 479-4900.

Covid-19 Update from the American Red Cross

“COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising across the United States. The more steps you and your family can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the safer you will be.​

In the last week, there has been an average of more than 212,000 cases per day. As of January 4, more than 20,666,700 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and 351,682 have lost their lives.

About 20 percent of hospitals with intensive care units reported that at least 95 percent of their I.C.U. beds were full in the week ending Dec. 24. It is critical at this time for everyone to take measures to try to reduce the number of people sick and protect themselves and their loved ones from not only the coronavirus, but from our hospitals reaching a dangerous breaking point.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urges everyone to take these easy steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19:

·         Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.

·         Stay at least six feet away from others who don’t live with you.

·         Avoid crowds.

·         If you are going out, avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces and wash your hands often. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.”

Giving Tuesday 2020

Thank you for considering United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile for you Giving Tuesday gift! Please support us by contributing to our donation page, or by creating your own. If you plan to create your own page, please feel free to share your own personal story and the impact that UCP has had in your life, or the impact you have witnessed UCP have on others.

The help and generosity of people like you makes a lasting impact on those we serve. UCP’s mission is to promote the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Any contribution you make today will help individuals in our community meet and exceed their goals!

In addition, we have an anonymous donor who has agreed to match every donation up to $6,000. This means that your gift will have an even greater impact! A $25 gift is transformed to a $50 gift, $500 is now $1,000!

All proceeds from the 2020 Giving Tuesday Campaign will benefit UCP Preschool and Camp SMILE. These programs have both touched so many lives.

A gift made to UCP Preschool will assist teachers and aids in ensuring our classrooms are safe, healthy and educational for every student who walks through our doors. For example, a gift of $25 can be used to purchase new classroom manipulatives. A gift of $100 can be used sensory integration lab equipment. Many of our students have trouble putting together information from all of their senses which can lead to difficulty in the classroom and with activities of daily living.  The SI Lab will be a combination of activities and equipment that our students can use to help them learn to organize their sensory input, self regulate and have improved independence and motor planning ability!

Gifts benefitting Camp SMILE open the doors to adventure for many campers. A gift as small as $15 could help pay for one camper’s entire week of art supplies. Many of our art projects are sensory driven, and reflect the theme of the summer. Each year, a homemade picture frame craft is completed so that campers may hang their camper-counselor picture from the summer.  A $380 gift provides a Campership for a camper who could otherwise not afford to attend!

Any gift you make is important to those we serve and we appreciate your heartfelt consideration!