Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy (AUCP) has a goal of supporting the participants they serve as well as the community at large to celebrate a joyful holiday season. In order to achieve this goal AUCP has created Holiday Blessings. Holiday Blessings is an agency-wide program which provides the selected applicants with the gifts and food needed to have a joyful holiday season.
Alleghenies United Cerebral Palsy (AUCP) celebrates the holidays by sponsoring a Holiday Blessings initiative to help individuals in our local communities and our participants. Each year our service coordinators and members of our community are invited to submit applications for families that may be in need of extra assistance during the holiday season.
It was our pleasure to be able to sponsor each of the four families that were nominated this year. AUCP provide financial assistance paying towards utility bills and purchasing gift cards for each of the four families of up to $1,000 per family. Additionally, gifts were presented to the families that were purchased by our staff members through a Giving Tree system.
One of the recipients, a single dad to two young daughters, could not believe that he was nominated and chosen. He wasn’t able to buy many Christmas gifts for his girls this year and he felt like a “weight was lifted” and was so relieved that his daughters won’t be disappointed in “Santa” this year.
Another family was nominated by their Service Coordinator because she could see that they were going through a hard time this year, both physically and financially. When presented with their blessing neither mom nor dad could believe it and their three year-old was so excited about all his gifts!
Having the opportunity to spread a little holiday cheer to our community brings us so much joy and seeing the response of families when they receive their gifts is truly a blessing to us. We would like to thank each individual and agency that has provided any type of support to our Community Fund and our staff that purchased gifts for the families. It is because of you that we are able to bless our community in these ways.
Through the Holiday Blessing’s fund, AUCP was able to purchase two batteries for ceiling lifts for the Harbaugh family from Fairfield, PA. The family consists of mother, Charity, and her five adult children, three of which have Cerebral Palsy. Charity has been their primary caregiver since her late husband’s passing four years ago. Even with help from her oldest daughter and youngest son, she definitely has her hands full.
In the house, ceiling lift systems are used in order to transport her children to different rooms and in and out of bed. Due to constant use, the batteries tend to die out quicker than they can be replaced. At one point, with only two working batteries, Charity was having to transport the batteries from one lift to another while putting herself into unsafe situations in order to do so.
Although the new batteries didn’t alleviate all of the family’s challenges, AUCP was blessed to be able to extend a helping hand during their time of need. The oldest sister, Cindy, says “it’s definitely been a rough time, but the batteries have been a huge benefit.” Working with their AUCP Service Coordinator, the family continues to pursue resources and ways to maintain their family and keep them together living in their own home.
If you would like to give towards our Community Fund that allows us to “bless” individuals in our communities, follow this link and donate today!
Over the holiday season Hollie Orris, a AUCP service coordinator who works with AmeriHealth participants in Nursing Homes, had noticed that the residents of the Patriot Nursing Facility in Somerset, PA had a small donation tree with quite a few names left on the tree for residents to receive a Christmas gift. Hollie and her mom took it upon themselves to take the leftover names and gift them all blankets for Christmas. By the day of delivery they had donations from AUCP and staff, Miller Motors Bus Company, and the St. Michael Ladies Auxiliary.
On December 12th, Hollie and her mother delivered 118 wrapped blankets to the nursing home for the residents to open on Christmas Day.
Hollie, we are glad to have you as part of our family, thank you for going out of your way to bless those around you.
We find it important to get our staff involved in the things that we do, that’s why we wanted to extend the opportunity to our staff to be involved in the Holiday Blessings.
When a mother and her three young children were nominated due to going through a tight financial situation this holiday season, we opened it up to the staff to donate gifts for the children to open on Christmas day and AUCP would provide the funds to pay for a months rent for the family, having recently moved into a new apartment.
After receiving the gifts for her children, the mother sent a very dear email to our staff about how thankful she was:
“On behalf of me and my children, we want to give the utmost gratitude to your company for everything you guys have done for us over the holiday season. I cannot even put into words how thankful I am. My children had such a magical holiday season and a lot of thanks to all of you for that. My heart is overjoyed.”
Our Holiday Blessings fund is not about what we get in return, but about loving our community and creating a ripple effect of giving for years to come.