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Dear Friends,


Ten years ago, we introduced you to Maria, a young lady in our Adult Day Program…


We shared that Maria’s teenage mother was unable to care for her, and Maria spent most of her childhood in different foster homes, even after being diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was four. Yet Maria was born with a sunny disposition (one of her many gifts) and dreamed of one day having a permanent home shared with family and friends.


Maria came to UCP of Long Island in 1988. Suddenly, her life was filled with opportunities.  Maria began attending UCP-LI’s Adult Day Program, made friends and was supported by a devoted staff – many of whom remain by her to this day.  UCP’s arts programs helped Maria to express herself and soon her paintings were exhibited at art shows and special events, building her confidence, and launching her entrepreneurial aspirations.  

In 2009, Maria moved into a UCP-LI home – where she has happily lived for 15 years. UCP-LI gave Maria what she always dreamed of – a home and a “family.” 

Maria faced another challenge in 2012 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. With UCP-LI by her side, Maria advocated for herself regarding her medical care. Her treatment was successful and today she remains in remission. Motivated by her experiences and her determination to give back, Maria began volunteering, donating her time to the Red Cross, and more recently, Mathers Hospital.


Maria is also an animal lover. She cares for homeless cats and is devoted to her two exotic birds, Sunshine and Maria. Her room is covered in artwork and photos of animals and pets

Maria is famous at UCP-LI for her positivity; no matter what the challenge, she remains inspirational. This was especially evident when UCP’s residences were on lockdown during the pandemic.


Among other creative endeavors, Maria launched an online business, selling t-shirts, bags, and other items she designed – all with bird designs!   

Maria has been a beloved member of the UCP-LI family for almost 40 years. She lives a full life and is surrounded by people who love her and support her, and who help her achieve her dreams. 

Your generosity enables us to give Maria and her peers the opportunity to pursue their dreams and to live their life to the fullest.  We cannot shield or protect the people in UCP-LI’s programs from life’s difficulties. They strive to experience a full life that includes the same highs and lows we all encounter. But your gift ensures we can provide the unconditional support many need as they journey towards independence.

With your support, we help Maria and the 500+ children and adults with disabilities in our programs to live a Life Without Limits. Please use the enclosed envelope or visit to make your generous donation today.

As we approach our 75th year, thank you for making a meaningful difference in the lives of people with disabilities!

Colleen Crispino
President & CEO of UCP of Long Island

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