January 17th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
If 2022 is feeling especially bleak to you, you might want to check out this list of favorite MLK quotes from Karen Wang, a mom who is raising several kids (including a son with disabilities).
We’re all interconnected. And we can all make a difference.
From the Desk of Sarah Noack, Brokerage Director, UCP Oregon
As I reflect on the past year, there were beautiful highlights and certainly many difficult lowlights.
In the spring of 2021, I could not have imagined how I would be catapulted out of my home office and into a massive undertaking—establishing a second brokerage (“UCP Mentors”) in order to take on the customers from another brokerage (“Mentor”) that was closing.
In some ways, taking on 600+ customers and starting a second brokerage was completely unfathomable to consider amidst a pandemic.
In other ways, it provided the perfect opportunity to shift focus onto something fresh and energizing.
I knew that I wanted to be a part of a safety net that could catch Mentor’s customers and employees. And I knew UCP had the organizational values and foundation to do right by folks.
What I didn’t know was how powerfully the community would come together to make that happen.
All of UCP’s existing (and new!) brokerage employees gave so much—their skills, gifts, and efforts—to make absolutely certain we were ready for our new customers.
Every single need was met with “here is what I can do.”
People stayed focused and positive even when we were overwhelmed. Problems were met with curiosity and tenacity.
And through those months, the team of former Mentor employees stepped bravely forward, responding with heart and grit and hope and determination.
When UCP Mentors opened on September 1, I felt like we had successfully landed the Millennium Falcon! I am so grateful for everyone, whether they served as Chewie, Yoda, Han, or members of the band that plays the funky music in the cantina.
Here we are four months later.
The dust is settling. And we see what lies ahead--more rebuilding, more growth, some healing, and lots more work.
But for now, I want to pause for a moment and say “three cheers” to everyone who was involved. Hooray for us all! Here is to collaboration, community, and customers! Happy New Year!
--Sarah Noack, Brokerage Director
From the Desk of Ann Coffey, Executive Director, UCP Oregon
A few days ago, I shared a New Year’s post.
But, today, I have more to share.
Sometimes someone’s words seem to grab at my heart and my head.
Pat A. Fleming wrote a poem called “What Life Should Be”.
It’s beautiful and simple, and it speaks to me of UCP Oregon, of our dedication, kindness, and vision.
It speaks to me—especially—of the hearts and hands and minds of our employees—of how they managed to bring their very best, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Below are a few excerpts.
Thank you to UCP’s employees. You truly stand up with courage, every day.
From the Desk of Ann Coffey, Executive Director, UCP Oregon
Wow! What a year.
As 2021 draws to a close, I’d like to take a moment to pause, to reflect on a year’s worth of feelings.
We’ve experienced celebration and joy. We have taken pleasure in tradition, togetherness, and new discoveries. But we’ve all experienced loneliness and loss. We have faced significant challenges.
For many, it's a heavy time.
So, as we enter a new year, I urge you to reach out to the people you care about. Tell people that they matter. Take care of yourself. Rest when you can.
Say goodbye to 2021—to the lessons learned, to the tests passed, and the obstacles that we overcame. And say hello to 2022—may it be a kinder year, with more certainty and peace for all of us.
Happy New Year!
UCP Oregon is excited to announce the winners of the "2021 Employee Recognition Awards!"
These awards were given to employees who provide direct care to our customers, folks who have titles such as Personal Assistant, Support Specialist, Support Coordinator, Personal Coordinator, Assistant Team Leader, Substitute Support Professional, Children's Support Professional, Job Coach, and Employment Specialist.
All direct care staff were eligible to vote for the winners. Each winner received a $100 Visa Gift Card and an award certificate!
If you happen to see one of these employees, please make sure to congratulate them.
PS: there were two winners in every category. We don't have permission to share the names of ALL the winners, so a few folks will not be listed below.
THE 2021 Employee Recognition Award WINNERS
i! We have an exciting opening to share with you.
UCP Oregon is hiring a Receptionist.
This is a great position for you if you enjoy multi-tasking, solving problems on the fly, and interacting with lots of different kinds of people, such as the folks we support, our employees, and the other people who drop by our office on a daily basis.
This position is open to both current employees and external applicants.
The person we hire can choose between two work schedules:
*The Friday schedule will alternate between (9am to 3:30pm and 10am to 4:30pm) based on UCP’s pay periods.
It's rainy and cold here in Oregon, but we're excited because we have some great news for you!
UCP Oregon was awarded a grant from the Oregon Department of Human Services, which we're using to highlight and celebrate the hard work of our Direct Support Professionals.
We created a "Share the Love" story project, where our direct support staff could share stories about their work life--the fun stuff, the hard stuff, and even the funny parts. Every person who submitted a story was awarded a $100 Visa gift card.
We received so many fabulous stories. We'll be sharing several of them here (see the link below) and on Facebook over the next few weeks, so make sure to check back in.
PS: Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a story!
*DSP's are employees who provide direct support to customers, such as Personal Assistants, Support Specialists, Support Coordinators, Personal Coordinators, Assistant Team Leaders, Substitute Support Professionals, Children’s Support Professionals, Job Coaches, and Employment Specialists.
Today is “Giving Tuesday.”
Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for you to show your love and support for the communities and causes that matter to you.
Are YOU in?
Donate to UCP Oregon today!
Hey! Did you know that you can raise FREE money for UCP while you do your shopping?
At Fred Meyer, if you assign "UCP Oregon" as your non-profit of choice, UCP Oregon will get free money every time you shop.
Ditto Amazon, if you use the "Amazon Smiles" program.
Thanks for helping out! And, remember, it's free!
It's almost Thanksgiving, here in Oregon.
In years past, the UCP office had a "Gratitude Tree" on the wall, where employees and customers could add colorful paper leaves, writing down all the things we were grateful for.
So, consider this post our "Digital Gratitude Tree."
UCP OREGON IS SO GRATEFUL FOR YOU: our customers, employees, supporters, and friends.
Each of you matters. Each of you makes a difference in our lives. Thank you for being here.