Welcome to United Cerebral Palsy Heartland
29th Annual Holiday Ornaments On Sale Now
Visit our online shop to learn more and place your order
Purchasing a commemorative holiday ornament from UCP Heartland helps create a “life without limits” for adults and children living with disabilities.
Proceeds benefit programs and services for people living with disabilities in the St. Louis Metro Region and Central Missouri.
Each year’s ornament highlights a different landmark or historical icon from the St. Louis region.
Our 2017 ornament features original artwork by Richard E. Long of The Muny outdoor theater.
All limited-edition ornaments are 24k gold-on-brass created at The Charleston Mint in North Carolina.
You can purchase this year’s ornament and collectible ornaments from previous years on our ornament shop page. Ornaments celebrating
Southwest Illinois history and landmarks are also available while supplies last.
Al Wilson Celebrates a Quarter Century at UCP Heartland
For somebody who never wears the same outfit to work more than once, it’s funny that Al Wilson’s favorite memory in 25 years of working at UCP Heartland is getting her head all sweaty. It’s even funnier that she did this inside a furry blue costume, dressed as The Cookie Monster.
“It was all fun and games until a child caught me taking my head off,” Al said. “Then we were both screaming!”
Aside from her time working directly with the children’s program, Al’s favorite UCPH program is “Respite.” Al said, “Any program that is a trusted place you can leave your family member for a little while you getting things done is not just good…it’s great.”
When Al was a newbie with the organization, George H.W. Bush was president and the Americans with Disabilities Act had recently rolled out. “Back then, children with disabilities were separated from other children. Today, our Child Development Center program in Columbia is totally inclusive, so children learn that people have differences early on,” she said. “For children now, they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s Ethan. He uses a wheelchair’ and it’s no big deal.”
Another major area of change Al has experienced is related to employment. Al goes to several stores that hire people with disabilities. “This is something you never used to see,” Al said. “Employment has gotten much easier for people living with disabilities,” she observed, “and that’s a good thing for everybody.”
In taking a job as a bookkeeping “Temp,” for the UCPH children’s program in Columbia, Missouri, Al never expected to be here today. “They just decided to keep me,” she said, despite her lack of experience in accounting, and when her husband transferred to St. Louis, Al found an accounting position with UCPH in St. Louis.
Today, Al’s door says “UCP Staff Accountant,” which is accurate; but is not the complete picture. Al is the morning sunshine, bringing her sparkle to the office every day. “I always look for the best in everything,” Al said. “Things may change and be different, but they’re still going to be a good thing.”
Al almost can’t believe twenty-five years have passed since the first day she started at UCP Heartland. “Staying in a job through good times and rough times builds character,” Al said. “It’s probably the same reason I’ve been married 40 years. There are great rewards for sticking with things. It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment that you can do this.”
When Al thinks about advice to offer workers who are just starting out, she said, “Accept change. Be ready to do things differently than you’ve done before, and you’ll always be OK.”
Join us at our next wing Ding!
JEFFERSON CITY, MO
October 4, 2017
6:00PM – 8:00PM
Who We Are
Watch to learn about our mission and programs
Look Into My Eyes
Life Without limits
For more than 60 years, UCP Heartland has helped to enhance the quality of life of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, their families, and their communities. We believe that individuals with even the most challenging disabilities have the right to quality education and transition services, integrated employment opportunities with competitive wages and career opportunities. We also promote full inclusion in community life by providing resource and referral, advocacy, and community integration services. Please explore our website for more news, and events, and to find more information on services we provide. A link is provided below if your would like to make a donation online.
You can help us continue to promote “life without limits” for people with disabilities. Click here to let us know if you are interested in getting involved with UCP Heartland as a volunteer, advocate, donor, or sponsor of an upcoming event. Please include a daytime phone number and email with your inquiry.