UCP WORK requests donations for next week’s Giving Tuesday
UCP WORK Inc. is a program for individuals with disabilities to access care, employment and fun.
Right now, it needs help providing more enrichment opportunities to its participants.
Every week, staff members load up the organization’s vans with craft supplies to take to the 100+ artists who participate in weekly classes on Zoom.
Before COVID-19, the artists had a studio and gallery within UCP WORK. It’s called Santa Barbara Art Works, and the participants display and sell their original artwork.
The studio had all the supplies they needed, including a 3D printer that made adaptive tools for individuals who struggle holding a traditional paintbrush.
“The artists in our studio are thrilled to be continuing to produce works of art from home. It’s amazing to see the creativity that is coming out of this time,” UCP WORK executive director Judy Linares told the News-Press.
Some participants don’t have a tablet device to attend the Zoom class, and staff members would like to expand their class offerings and keep the artists intrigued each week.
To remedy this problem, UPC WORK is requesting donations of art supplies for Giving Tuesday, a worldwide day of generosity that falls on Dec. 1 this year.
The wish list includes paint brushes, yarn, rainbow looms and more. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, donations will be collected at the Santa Maria office, 3070 Skyway Drive, Suite 104/105.
The Santa Barbara location at 423 W. Victoria St. will collect Wednesday. The main office in Carpinteria, 5320 Carpinteria Ave., Suite G, finishes off the drive Thursday.
In addition, donors can purchase the supplies from its amazon list at a.co/1iUO1rL. The gifts will be shipped directly to UCP WORK.
All of its programs, except power wheelchair soccer, have been open during the pandemic serving the 400 participants.
“They can still participate in a remote matter without having to risk going out into the community, but at the same time not being isolated from the programs they’ve depended on, some for many years,” Ms. Linares said.
Many participants have compromised immune systems, so staff members have worked to keep them healthy while mitigating the negative effects of isolation.
“It makes a world of difference to maintain some sort of connection,” she said. “It’s been really important for us to identify the needs of each person we support and then meet them.”
Classes and activities vary to keep everyone engaged. There are classes for beading, cooking, yoga, Zumba, dance and more.
There’s even a class that discusses COVID-19 safety to make sure they’re ready when it’s time to re-enter the community.
Participants in a self-advocacy group discuss how to stand up for people with disabilities.
Community members can support them in advocacy while also letting them have their own voice and individuality.
Business owners can also hire individuals with a disability.
“If you own a business that wants a more inclusive workforce, hire someone with a disability. And UPC Work is here to help you with that,” Ms. Linares said.
Even helping participants practice their interview skills would help them pursue a career.
“We have a very giving community here in Santa Barbara,” she said. “I hope they continue to show up to our events and art shows and donate when they can.”
Santa Barbara Art Works is holding a virtual show Dec. 3-30 titled “Give Art with Heart.” Profits from the sale will go to the artists and class supplies. More details will be announced later.