A strong finish to fiscal year 2016 positions us well for a strong start to our new year.  And you made this all achievable!

record donations through fundraising!

  • Thank you to all of our very generous donors and friends who enabled Abilities United to raise more than $2 million from July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016.  This is the extraordinary result of various appeals, the Aquathon and Authors Luncheon events, and the generosity of a few dear friends who included us in their estate plans.  The tremendous outpouring from our community means Abilities United is able to hire the most qualified staff, increase service hours to participants, and implement key improvements to our infrastructure so services are provided most effectively and staff are most efficient.  Thank you to each of our donors!

services continue to grow and expand

  • This past year, participants received 13% more service hours than the previous year.  That means that children and adults received a total of 150,000 educational, social, recreational, therapeutic, and vocational support hours from our early childhood educators, occupational, physical, and speech therapists, community trainers, swim instructors, and other Abilities United professional staff. New partnerships with Children’s Discovery Museum San Jose, LinkedIn, Stanford Autism Center, and the Walt Disney Family Museum enable us to expand our services, our reach, and our impact on the children and adults we serve.
  • Eleven individuals residing at 1585 Studios apartments received their first full year of services from our “Integrated Living” program which provides them one-to-one coaching in a coordinated program of educational, social, vocational, and independent living training.
  • The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Palo Alto is one of our newest partners and enables us to continue to provide aquatic exercise for the adults in our Day Activities program.  The JCC joins our existing aquatics partners throughout the Peninsula and South Bay; Timpany Center, Channing House, and Redwood City Hoover Pool, all of which enable us to provide swim lessons, adapted aquatics, and aquatic personal training services to people of all ages and abilities.

volunteer contributions increase by more than 25%!

  • We are honored that Abilities United continues to attract multitudes of talented volunteers: rom high school students to community service groups to employed or retired professionals.  Volunteer hours increased by 26% to 8,854 hours. Even more impressive is that the value of the volunteers’ time is equal to nearly $238,000, 28% more than the previous year!
  • These volunteer hours are the equivalent of an additional 4.5 staff members.  Volunteers enable permanent staff to focus on providing services to participants and other key Abilities United projects, while ensuring that the other work and projects continue to get done. Projects include professionals providing advice and research into our redevelopment efforts as well as legal, technical, and educational projects.  Thank you volunteers!

staff development and recognition…a community activity

  • We are extremely proud that Lupe Arrizaga, our Occupational Therapist for over 20 years, was recognized for her work and advocacy for people with disabilities when she received the “Support Staff of the Year” award at the San Andreas Regional Center Service Above Self award ceremony.  This is a testament to the quality of Abilities United staff and more importantly, their professionalism and dedication to people with developmental disabilities. Three other Abilities United staff were recognized for this same award in 2014, 2013, and 2010.
  • Staff has expanded their professional development and contacts by participating in conferences open to for-profit and not-for-profit agencies, including the “Igniting Potential: the 2016 Women of Color Leadership Conference” held at Yahoo in Sunnyvale.

Keep the successes going and growing!
Join us at the 2016 Aquathon and Authors Luncheon fundraising events to ensure that our new year is off to the strongest start!

  • aquathon: new time, location in Redwood City!
    The 39th annual Aquathon makes its annual big splash on Saturday, September 17th, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm, at the Hoover Pool, conveniently located off Woodside and Middlefield Roads in Redwood City.  Join us for a fun day of swimming, food, and camaraderie!   Get your photo taken with the San Jose Sharks man-eating mascot, “Sharkie”!  Our goal is to raise $85,000, and we are well on our way. Please join us as a sponsor, swimmer, or donor to make this another successful Aquathon to benefit children and adults with disabilities!
  • authors luncheon: 25th anniversary celebration!
    The 25th annual Authors Luncheon returns to the Crowne Plaza Cabaña, Palo Alto on Saturday, October 29th, 10:30 am – 3 pm.   Four acclaimed authors join us for this special occasion: Mark Kurlansky, Francine Prose, Dan Santat, and Maria Semple.
    Don’t miss this momentous opportunity to meet and hear them talk about the inspiration behind their stories.  Join 600 book lovers for an entertaining day to raise $350,000 for people with developmental disabilities!

Abilities United cannot achieve our mission without your help. Thank you for all your partnership and contributions, because everything you do brings us closer to reaching our goals to:

  • Provide seamless transition from one service to another throughout the lifetime of participants
  • Increase Abilities United brand awareness
  • Assess community needs to help define the future of Abilities United services

Thank you once again for your ongoing commitment to the people who benefit from Abilities United services.

Charlie Weidanz
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. Visit the Abilities United new responsive website designed to make it easier for you to find the information you need, when you need it!