UCPIE staff and friends enjoy a wonderful day at Children's Discovery Museum on Tuesday, August 9, 2018 where nine special needs kids received their very own adaptive bikes.
About Us:    United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire (UCPIE) provides family support services for children and adults with special needs. Services provided are in-home respite care for people of all ages, out of school care through our after-school and summer Skill Builders program, adaptive sports, and resource and referral services. For over 30 years, UCPIE has been helping individuals with disabilities, providing them with the tools to help reach their full potential and become engaged members of our community.

On Saturday August 25 th  Palm Springs Lanes was a venue full of smiling, enthusiastic faces, full of fun and cheer. Community friends and sponsors such as Palm Springs Subaru , Contour Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, the Kiwanis Club of Palm Springs and 35 other sponsors joined our 28th UCPIE Bowl-a-thon. This year we had the absolute pleasure of being joined by Walter Clark and his production team as they filmed the first episode of “Desert Gems”. Desert Gems highlights wonderful organizations, destinations, people and arts which make the Coachella Valley a unique and fulfilling living destination. Thanks to the entire team at  Walter Clark Legal Group for your community outreach and for making a difference in the lives of so many people! To view Desert Gems featuring UCPIE please see video below.
Bowl-a-thon is more than your average fundraiser. It’s a huge party! A party for our special needs kids, parents, UCPIE donors and supporters. Everyone can be seen laughing, sharing stories and also making new friends. As a spectator you can witness people in walkers, wheelchairs and people of all ages and abilities come together as a family. This is our UCPIE family. Together we raise much needed funds and awareness but most importantly we uplift and inspire one another!
Every year we host a variety of events that helps fund our adaptive bike and seven after-school programs for children and adults living with down syndrome, autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and other disabilities. These two UCPIE programs are funded by community grants and fundraising efforts. Every day special needs children all the way from Mecca to Desert Hot Springs attend the Skill Builders after-school program which helps program participants develop and improve five vital skill areas: socialization, independence, communication, safety and health. This is accomplished through a small student to teacher ratio facilitated by UCPIE and a structured curriculum of community outings, educational activities, arts & crafts and technology. The adaptive bike program is open to special needs individuals of all ages residing in both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. To learn more about UCPIE’s mission and our programs please visit: http://ucpie.org
Donna De Los Rios
UCPIE In-Home Respite Care   is a service offered to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout the Inland Empire. UCPIE sends qualified, pre-screened respite caregivers to homes to care for special needs individuals. Respite care benefits both the client and the primary caregiver. For clients, it gives them the opportunity to spend time with someone different and perhaps do some new things. Primary caregivers also benefit from respite care because they get some time to themselves, away from their usual responsibilities. This service allows usual caregivers an opportunity to take a much-needed rest or attend to other tasks, knowing that their loved one is well cared for by a certified respite care provider.
This month we are highlighting Donna De Los Rios. Donna has been a UCPIE respite care provider since 2017. We spoke to her to learn more about her respite provider experience.
UCPIE:    What are your clients special needs? 
Donna:   I have two clients Steven and Billy. Steven has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) it's a rare and severe kind of epilepsy that starts in childhood. Billy is developmentally delay. 
UCPIE: Can you tell us how you got involved with Respite Care?
Donna:  I was introduced to UCPIE by a family friend. I first started as a after-school coach with the Beaumont program. I was then introduced to respite. Since day one with UCPIE a fell in love with the kids. They are always just so happy and full of love!

UCPIE: What is the most rewarding thing about being a respite provider?
Donna:  The most rewarding thing about being a respite provider is the smiles! It brings me so much happiness to see my kids happy. And I say ''my kids" because I truly feel like they are family. I've seen them grow and reach milestones. My daughter always corrects me stating "Mom they are not your kids." But I can't help it. It comes out naturally. I say it all the time "my kids"when I am referring to them. I love them and they love me. The UCPIE families are part of my life and my family.

UCPIE: In the time you’ve been a respite care provider, what is your biggest lesson learned? 
Donna: Oh, that's easy! Never underestimate them! They always surprise you.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about our UCPIE respite program, please contact Gaby Reyes (760) 625-5058, email: gabyreyes@ucpie.org