Reflections on your contributions this past year

This year, Abilities United celebrates 52 years of service to our community. I am proud to be a part of this important agency that you helped create and sustain and am pleased to report out on the highlights of this year.

Our success is due in large part to you, our thousands of donors, volunteers, and partners who support the organization.

Each of our donors and philanthropic partners was critical to the successful completion of our United for the Future campaign, which raised over $2 million.  We also had record revenue from the Authors Luncheon which raised $350,000 and the Aquathon having raised $125,000, and The Sobrato Family Foundation 2 to 1 Challenge grant which contributed an impressive $225,000.

Like any nonprofit, Abilities United depends on the generosity of our volunteers to propel us beyond what our existing human and financial resources can accomplish.  In 2014/2015, dedicated and talented volunteers donated nearly 6,500 hours to Abilities United services and administration. Their hard work is valued at over $170,000 and is equivalent to 3 full-time staff members!   This year in particular, we have had tremendous insight and talent provided by more than 335 dedicated and talented volunteers.

Our community partners ensure that the people we serve receive the best services available. The Regional Centers, as well as the Department of Rehabilitation, are key partners in our ability to provide award winning services to thousands of Peninsula and South Bay children and adults.  To enhance all of our service offerings we have also partnered with over 200 corporations, nonprofits, schools, service organizations such as Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, and government organizations including the City of Palo Alto and the City of Sunnyvale.

Highlights of accomplishments you made possible
  • children’s services Early Intervention, Therapy and Milestones Preschool benefit children and their families throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. New in May 2015, Milestones Preschool was licensed for and expanded to be a full-day preschool in addition to a half-day program.  We also launched our collaboration with Stanford University to offer social skills classes to children with and without autism.
  • family support We continue to provide after school care, respite services, and computer education classes to people of all ages so their family members can continue to work full-time and attend to other familial and personal needs.  We continued our partnership with the City of Palo Alto for a second year to manage the city’s “Summer’s Excellent Adventure Camp” designed for children with and without disabilities
  • adult services The Adult Services program offerings continue to expand having received regional center authorization to open two new services: Tailored Day and Integrated Living, both of which offer one-to-one coaching for adults to expand their skills to live independently.  Continued partnerships with over 100 Bay Area employers ensured that we placed 40 individuals in appropriate jobs, including placements at Homewood Suites-Hilton in Palo Alto, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Stanford University, and Safeway stores throughout the area.   We continue to provide employment assessment, job placement, and job coaching. We are proud that we now have over 400 individuals placed in jobs that utilize their skills and interest. Adult Day Activities participants also produced their first two TV shows for MidPeninsula Community Media Center, “Using our Community Connections” and “Betty Wright Aquatic Services”  to promote and educate the community about the  accomplishments, talents, and rights of people with disabilities.
  • aquatic services The rehabilitation, fitness and recreation aquatic programs continue to be offered in local warm-water pools including the Timpany Center in San Jose and Channing House in Palo Alto, as well as our new Redwood City partner, Hoover Pool. We are proud and delighted to have provided swim and water safety lessons for over 400 low-income children from Redwood City and water safety education for their parents.  This special program was made possible by a generous donation from a family who believes in the importance of water safety for all.
You’re sure to make an impact in 2015 and into our next 50 years!

The Abilities United Board of Directors had an extremely fruitful year.  In September it approved the Abilities United 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, which positions us to address the changing needs of people with disabilities and our community.  Specifically, our 2015-2018 goals are to

  • Provide seamless transition from one service to another throughout the lifetime of participants.
  • Increase Abilities United brand awareness.
  • Assess the needs for redevelopment of Abilities United facilities.
I can’t thank all of you enough for the diverse contributions you made to Abilities United in this past year.  Each of you, whether you are a donor, volunteer, partner, staff member, participant or long-time friend of Abilities United, truly is what makes Abilities United successful and a valued member of the local community.  All of our accomplishments are only possible because of your support and belief in this organization.  We sincerely appreciate your ongoing commitment to the people who benefit from Abilities United services.

As we begin our new fiscal year, I look forward to keeping you informed about progress at Abilities United.

Charlie Weidanz
Executive Director