On January 25, 2015, United Cerebral Palsy groups around the country raised thousands of dollars via telethon for research and services for families. The local UCP affiliates of the relatively small cities of Jonesboro, Arkansas and Springfield, Illinois raised over $100K and $350K respectively. This is a great start to the new year for an organization that doesn’t rely on telethons for the bulk of its funding anymore.
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) supports families affected by cerebral palsy through public advocacy, funding research and through direct assistance to individuals. The services offered by UCP has been invaluable to families and individuals with the disability from providing wheelchairs to jobs. Unsurprisingly, these services all require funding.
Some of the other services that UCP provides include:
- Housing assistance
- Early intervention programs
- Individual and family support
- Social and community living programs
- Assistive technology (hearing aids, computers, etc.)
- Public education outreach
UCP helps thousands of individuals and families every year with their programs.
History of the UCP Telethon
The first UCP telethon took place in Chicago in 1950. The telethon went on for 15 hours and raised $972,106, an amazing feat for the up-and-coming fundraiser. The UCP fundraiser was one of the first annual telethons in the United States.
Telethons are a dying breed of fundraiser, but before the advent of the internet, telethons were one of the best ways to reach out to the public. Telethons became a popular in the 1950s, and the tradition carried on for decades.
Now, regional groups of UCP around the country still use local telethons to build momentum for fundraising early in the new year.
The telethons are still helpful for many of the smaller regional groups to fill in gaps where donor funding isn’t quite enough. However, UCP mostly relies on donations from its sponsors and monthly sustainers for its funding.
Giving to United Cerebral Palsy
UCP has over 80 regional affiliates across the country providing support to those with CP. The organization has several ways people can help contribute to the cause regardless of their financial standing. Monthly sustainers are highly valued and contribute as little as $3 a day. People can also make one time donations or start a fundraiser of their own. People can even donate their old vehicles to UCP, get it towed away for free and get a tax deduction at the end of the year. Visit the United Cerebral Palsy website to learn more about giving back.