United Rehabilitation Services helps the disabled

Blake, who is from Tipp City, is this year’s Rubber Duck Regatta Ambassador. The event raises funds for United Rehabilitation Services. CONTRIBUTED
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Blake, who is from Tipp City, is this year’s Rubber Duck Regatta Ambassador. The event raises funds for United Rehabilitation Services. CONTRIBUTED

More than 1,000 children and adults with disabilities and other special needs benefit annually from the services and programs at United Rehabilitation Services (URS). The non-profit organization has been making a difference in our community for the past 65 years.

“URS plays a critical role in our community, helping children and adults with disabilities achieve their highest level of independence and quality of life through a broad continuum of care,” said executive director Dennis Grant.

Blake, an energetic 3-year-old with Down Syndrome, provides a terrific example. Both of his parents are in the military and were referred to URS by the Exceptional Families program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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Their son has endured two open heart surgeries, but that hasn’t slowed him down. Blake began attending URS’ 5-Star Rated Early Childhood Education program in October 2019. Only 20 months later, according to his mom, he has “made a complete 180. He can now feed himself, use a cup, and walk -- challenges he overcame at URS.” His parents say they’re less stressed, not only because they have the educational support from childcare teachers and aides, but also because URS offers a team of highly skilled therapists who provide physical, occupational, and speech therapies to him on-site.

Blake is this year’s Rubber Duck Regatta Ambassador. The Regatta is URS’ largest event, typically raising over $180,000. How can a rubber duck make a difference? It can when it’s one of 20,000. The 18th Annual Rubber Duck Regatta will be held at the Dixie Twin Drive-in on Friday, Sept. 17. Two family-friendly movies will be shown and winners of the Regatta will be announced. You can join this year’s virtual race and adopt a duck for $5 .Adopt your Ducks at daytonducks.com, text DUCK to 24365 or at any Dayton location Buffalo Wild Wings.

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Here’s what they need

  • Art supplies and activities for both children and adults: construction and watercolor paper, card stock, colored pencils, crayons, markers, glue sticks, stickers, watercolor paints, board games and books (educational, fiction and nonfiction).
  • Sensory items: Playdoh and Playdoh toys like rolling pins and cookie cutters, bubble pop sensory fidget toys, knob puzzles, water beads, sand, shaving cream, rice, food coloring, dried beans, building sets and take apart toys.
  • Cleaning supplies and personal care items: spray bottles, bleach, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and diapers (all sizes).

Donations can be delivered by appointment only to 4710 Old Troy Pike at Needmore Road in Dayton. Contact Kailey Yeakley at kyeakley@ursdayton.org or 937-853-5464 to make arrangements. Visit URS’ electronic Wish List on Amazon by going to ursdayton.org/give and clicking on In-Kind Donation for a list of specific items you can purchase and donate to the center.

Other ways you can help: If you are interested in volunteering at URS, please contact Jackie Lee at jlee@ursdayton.org or 937-853-5433. At this time volunteers are helping outside with landscaping such as mulching, weeding and mowing. For more information about URS’ programs including how you can be a monthly donor, go to ursdayton.org.

Nice feedback!

“Your article has been amazing for us,” writes Holly Clawson of the cat rescue, LiFeline. “We have gotten supplies, food, detergent, and several other things because of it. It is truly a blessing and we can’t thank you enough.”

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Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: meredith.moss@coxinc.com.

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.