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Hello Friends:

 

Meet Claudia and Alex….

 

“Alex is my heart – my whole heart.”  Claudia is filled with love when she speaks of her 19-year-old son Alex. “The Children’s Center changed everything for us.”

 

Alex was born with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and is microcephalic. Additionally, Alex has cortical blindness and is non-verbal; he requires constant support in all areas of his daily life. 

 

When Alex was a toddler Claudia’s determined search for services brought her to The Children’s Center at UCP of Long Island.  

 

We walked into The Children’s Center and Alex’s face lit up. I knew we were in the right place.”

 

Alex began attending The Children’s Center, charming staff and receiving a range of services and therapies. Claudia connected with other parents who have since become a vital source of support.   

 

When Alex was 12, he moved into a UCP Children’s Residence—a milestone in both of their lives.  

 

“This was never our plan, but it turned out to be the best thing for Alex,” Claudia reflects. “As Alex grew, his medical needs intensified. When an opportunity in a UCP Children’s home became available, Alex moved in.”

 

“I’m so thankful for the staff in Alex’s home–they love him!” Claudia lives close and sees Alex almost daily.

 

Today, Alex and his peers enjoy social and creative activities during their out-of-school hours, including stargazing in the sensory room, trivia games, nature walks, music, and more. 

 

Soon Alex will turn 21 and graduate from The Children’s Center. What’s next? 

 

“I have dreams for Alex!” Claudia shares, half laughing, half tearfully. “I want him to attend UCP’s Adult Day Programs. It will be very emotional to leave The Children’s Center. UCP is family and this has been our home. But it’s comforting to know we don’t need to leave UCP.”  

 

Claudia also plans for Alex to transition to a UCP Adult Residence and struggles with the emotions of a parent watching as their child enters the next phase of life.  Thankfully, UCP will be right beside them as Claudia and Alex embrace the next chapter.

 

The Children’s Center at UCP of Long Island has been a life-enhancing resource for children with disabilities and their families for more than 70 years. We ensure parents like Claudia are not alone, and that Alex and his peers receive the best possible opportunities to learn and grow.

 

But we can’t do it alone.

 

This holiday season, we give thanks for you.  Your donation makes a powerful and significant difference in the lives of the children and adults with disabilities we support — we need you

 

Please consider making a donation today by visiting  www.ucp-li.org/donate

 

Thank you for remembering UCP of Long Island this holiday season. We wish you a peaceful and healthy New Year.

 

Sincerely,

Colleen Crispino

President & CEO

 

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