Meeting Highlights - May 10, 2018
Our Kiwanian of the Day, Dan Yauger, ran a fun and inspiring meeting. We welcomed two members of the Allied Gardens community, Mary and Mark, who decided to pay us a visit. We are always glad when folks stop in to check us out and enjoy a delicious breakfast!
Our guest speaker was John Mooney, Fund Development/Marketing Coordinator for the United Cerebral Palsy organization here in San Diego (SDUCP). John has been with United Cerebral Palsy for 17 years. In addition to his B.A. in psychology, he has recently earned a Master of Arts degree in special education from Grand Canyon University. It is obvious that John brings great enthusiasm and compassion to working on a daily basis to achieve the UCP goal: To advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network. John's organization educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.
John explained that “cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination.” The symptoms can vary for each individual. Symptoms include: muscle tightness or spasticity, involuntary movement, disturbance in gait or mobility, difficulty in swallowing and problems with speech. The severity of these symptoms are different for each individual. SDUCP works, not only with the person with CP, but their entire family/support system. In severe cases, caring for these individuals is a life-long, 24/7 challenge.
SDUCP offers a myriad of services that greatly enhance the quality of life for all those impacted by CP. For example, they offer assistive technology solutions which provide a wide array of adapted computer hardware/software devices to help clients interact with the world around them; they offer respite services for caregivers; they offer a mobile toy library that lends out modified toys; they offer Project College to support youth with disabilities in an actual college experience that will inspire and prepare them for ongoing postsecondary opportunities; and they offer several types of day and employment programs for adults with developmental disabilities. John told us that one of his main goals is to help find sustainable jobs for his clients so that can lead successful, fulfilling lives.
Obviously, none of these services come without costs. John spends a great deal of his time finding ways to fund his organization. In addition to seeking monetary donations, SDUCP also runs thrift stores (that accept donations), and holds a number of fundraising events each year, including UCP Day, our UCP Golf Classic, the Celebrity Waiters Luncheon, Life Without Limits Award Dinner and No Limits 5k Walk. We applaud the fine work John does as an advocate for those affected by CP and hope to take part in some of these activities in the future.
It was a fun and inspiring meeting thanks to KOD Dan Yauger (l.) and guest speaker John Mooney.