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Clients and staff members of United Disability Services in Kent recently delivered several large boxes filled with donated toys and household items which were collected throughout the agency during October and November to the Portage County Children Services Agency in Ravenna. The idea for the toy drive came from the agency's Consumer Advisory Committee made up of a group of individuals with disabilities served by UDS who help to plan monthly activities for the program. Clients then made collection boxes that were stationed at all of United Disability Services' facilities located in Kent, Akron and Twinsburg.
"At a time of the year when so many not-for-profit agencies are in need of donations, our clients decided they wanted to do something to specifically help children," said Erica Taylor, program supervisor for UDS in Kent. "We had an amazing response from employees and families who wanted to donate to this effort and it's a great way for the people we serve to see what a positive difference they can make in the community."
The toys and other household goods were distributed at PCSA's annual foster parent and kinship placements holiday party. The gifts will help to benefit many of the 100-150 children and young adults living independently who are currently in the care of the agency.
"We're so grateful that people take the time to help the children we serve," said Tammy Devine, administrator of children services for Job & Family Services. "So often these children have to leave their homes and are not able to take a lot with them. This donation means a lot."
The agency will continue taking donations through the holidays to help benefit the in-home families they serve as well. Call Portage County Children Services at 330-297-3809 for more information.
UDS serves people with disabilities and their caregivers who are exploring social, vocational, volunteer, community living, low visions and transportation options. The agency offers engaging programs and services that help individuals to excel in meeting their personal goals by concentrating on the abilities, interests and needs of the whole person. UDS offers a wide variety of services within Summit and Portage Counties, with some services offered in other counties in Northeastern Ohio. For more information about the UDS, call 330-762-9755 or visit www.udsakron.org.