Community Connections South
UCP Seguin operates day programs across the greater Chicago area, focusing on providing life skills training and employment and volunteer activities for adults with developmental disabilities. Within these day services are two large groups of individuals participating in UCP Seguin’s Community Connections program – Community Connections North based in Cicero and Community Connections South based in Tinley Park. On a typical day, the Community Connections South team members start their morning picking up donated pastries and other foods from a local Starbucks. The participants then deliver the donated food to a local homeless shelter, a community center, a senior center, and other sites where disadvantaged, low-income people from the community are provided assistance. The Community Connections team is involved in several other volunteer activities where they demonstrate their commitment to giving back to the community. In multiple senior centers and other sites you may find them doing a range of tasks, such as making beds, distributing food, walking dogs, assisting the elderly in the fitness center, landscaping in the summer and shoveling snow in the winter. Afternoon activities may involve heading to a local church for an afterschool program where Community Connections participants perform a range of housekeeping chores, such as vacuuming, scrubbing tables, and cleaning bathrooms. The Community Connections South group created their own Halloween Event, at which they distributed pumpkins and candy bags to three area children’s facilities. During the Winter Holiday season the team partnered with the Salvation Army, serving food and refreshments for seniors at a special holiday luncheon. In short, the Community Connections South group has shown that people with disabilities have much to offer to benefit the greater community, while they also gain a strong measure of self-esteem and accomplishment.