Guest Blogger: L. Cely Simms
Residential Program Director
UCP on the Potomac/Sunrise Community
Yumia Williams raising money for the candy-striper scholarship fund in Maryland.
Volunteerism by persons with developmental disabilities is meaningful engagement in the community and it serves as a valuable and much needed contribution in communities all over Maryland. While it is estimated that between 2.5 and 3% of the general population has a developmental disability, volunteers with developmental disabilities are sometimes overlooked when organizations seek out help to support their programs. Fortunately, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is very aware of the positive impact that people with intellectual and physical disabilities can have on a program. Yumia Williams and Julius Armstrong, from UCP on the Potomac, are members of MedStar’s Adult Volunteers team. Each year the Adult Volunteers have an opportunity to participate in the Youth Volunteer Candy Stripers Scholarship Fundraiser. The goal is to raise funds to provide a $1,000 scholarship to several of the youth volunteer candy stripers attending college in the fall of 2016. Yumia and Julius choose to support the candy striper scholarship fundraiser. They are and will continue to work at the fundraising booth from February 16th through March 4th.
Including volunteers with disabilities in charity activities is good for everyone! Through their service, volunteers with physical and mental challenges often change the perspectives of the communities in which they work. A diverse volunteer pool provides benefits such as improved public image, increased access to talented groups, diminished volunteer turnover, and improved overall financial operation. In addition to this, organizations that engage volunteers with disabilities are often more representative of society. As a result, charities are able to attract a greater number of service users, and appear more welcoming to patients, customers, donors, the general public, and even other volunteers. It is literally a win-win for all involved.
UCP on the Potomac would like to recognize MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center for helping to raise awareness about the contributions made by people with disabilities. We would also like to say, “Job well done” to both Yumia Williams and Julius Armstrong!