Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA)
Our Story Why We Exist
It was New Year ’s Eve, 1996 and a baby boy was finally born after keeping his parents waiting for two weeks overdue. They had been trying to have a baby for over five years, and as soon as the little one was born, he was immediately whisked away to the NICU for tests and monitoring. Nervous and anxious, they were finally allowed in to the NICU, only to see their newborn baby in an incubator, attached to scary tubes and monitors - not what new parents were expecting. They were told that he was having trouble breathing and was experiencing some seizures, but they had yet to determine the cause. Later that night, the doctor finally sat down with them and said, “there has been some damage to his brain and there is a good chance your son will never walk or talk and will likely have to be tube fed, he has Cerebral Palsy."
In the weeks following, the parents were completely numb but had unconditional love for their son like any new parents would. Throughout the first year and the hundreds of appointments with doctors and therapists, they hoped like any parent would, that their son would just be OK and healthy. Acceptance was one of the most difficult hurdles during this time. Throughout his first five years, he attended special preschools and by the time he started what would be the equivalent of grade one, they finally came to accept the cards they have been dealt and dedicated their lives to helping him progress and be happy.
The family turned to the CPAA - not only to find answers and resources, but also in hopes of meeting other families to lean on. To their amazement, they were given an overwhelming amount of support. They have now turned their experience into a lifelong passion to help not only their son, but also other families to realize that things don't have to be as bad as they seem and that support is there, when they are ready to receive it.
As we are now into 2015, this baby boy has just turned 18 and consistently keeps his parents on their toes - even eating them out of house and home! He may be non-verbal, and not as equipped to do as many things as his peers, but he has taught his family so much. His mother left her finance job after being in the industry for 13 years and decided to follow her newfound mission to ensure that her son’s voice was heard. That mother is me. And I am proud to be Joshua's voice. I have been the Director of Development for the CPAA for the past eight years, I sit on National and International CP groups and am an advocate for social change and progress - simply trying to make a difference for families by providing hope and support, so that we can all live a life without limits.
Our Impact What We Do
The Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) is a registered non-profit organization that supports people affected by cerebral palsy and other disabilities in the province of Alberta. The CPAA is a visionary organization who has been serving Albertans since its inception in 1976. We are committed to an environment of dignity, integrity and respect. We put people first and promote diversity, independence and full citizenship. We are committed to excellence, effectiveness and accountability. Over the years, the CPAA has established itself as a leader in the delivery of programs and services for people with disabilities and has grown to serve over 2200 members within the province.
The CPAA envisions a life without limits for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. It is our mission to make a difference by enriching and supporting the lives of children and adults with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
Our Programs How We Do It
The Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta offers a unique range of programs and services to persons with disabilities to assist their pursuit to play an active role in the community. Our programs are extremely flexible to provide unparalleled individualized services based on the desires and needs of each person. The CPAA is dedicated to respecting the rights of the individuals we serve. Valuing a consumer choice model, the CPAA empowers every individual to have a role in choosing the types of services they want. Every staff member makes it their responsibility to ensure that the individuals they serve receive individualized support that is personalized to their situation. We offer a wide array of programs for our members including art, music and dance therapy, swimming, yoga, gardening and computer training, employment training workshops and youth transition support.
Our Requests What You Can Do
The CPAA is committed to social change and progress for persons with cerebral palsy and other disabilities and this has been made possible through the generosity of Albertans who have supported the organization. Whether you choose to assist us through the donation of a financial gift, event sponsorship, participation in our clothing or bottle recycling programs, or switching your energy provider, your support makes our work possible. We have many opportunities available:
Volunteer: Volunteer opportunities are available for one-time events, ongoing programs or office-based work. Volunteers play a fundamental role in the programs and services that we offer to our members and the community. Without volunteers, our weekly programs cannot run and there is an opportunity for individuals of all abilities to become volunteers. By being a volunteer with us, you are a positive representation of our organization in the office, the community and especially in thelives of other people.
Volunteering with the CPAA is an opportunity to use your personal interests and skills towards creating a Life without Limits for individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
Giving & Support: All gifts to the CPAA are important and make a difference. We graciously appreciate gifts in the form of donations in honour, celebration or in memory of someone special, in-kind donations as well as auction item donations for our various fundraising events.
Corporate Support & Sponsorships: When your corporation aligns itself with the CPAA, you raise your corporate profile, help build your reputation as a socially responsible corporation, foster employee good will and most importantly, helpindividuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities live a Life Without Limits.
There are many opportunities for Corporate Sponsorship through our various fundraising events in the form of cash, in-kind gifts or donated items, employee giving & donation matching and corporate volunteering, to name a few.
Additionally, if you would like to support our upcoming Life without Limits Gala: An Evening at Royal Ascot on April 25th, 2015, through ticket purchases, making a donation or Corporate Sponsorship, please see the website for further details.
Host a Third Part Fundraiser: You can get involved by hosting a fundraising event where the monies raised are donated to the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta. Whether you’re on your own or part of a larger group such as a service club, community group, school group or business, you can make a big difference. It’s simple – plan and carry out a fun activity, then donate the proceeds to the CPAA.
There are many types of events: casual dress day for a cause, head shave, stampede breakfast, dunk tank, golf tournament – the only limit is your imagination! Additionally, you can organize a clothing or bottle drive for your organization or group to support the CPAA. We have a program for your group to raise funds for your goals as well as the CPAA.
Recycle Clothing, Bottles & Household Items: By donating clothes, cans & bottles, household items, small electronics or even your vehicle, you can help save our environment while creating a Life Without Limits for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Your donations to the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) will support and help fund valuable programs for persons with disabilities.
Since 1995, the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta has partnered with Value Village. Clothing and household items donated to the CPAA are sold to Value Village. Last year, the CPAA diverted over 4,500,000 pounds of clothing and household items from our provincial landfills, and this year, we continue to advocate for our environment through ourrecycling programs.
Host a Recycling Bin: The Clothing Donation Bin program places white bins in high traffic areas in cities across Alberta, encouraging people to donate clothing to support the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta by providing convenient access to a donation receptacle.
By hosting a CPAA Clothing Donation Bin on your property, you demonstrate that you are an advocate of recycling and preventing needless waste from polluting the environment. You will be providing a service for your community to drop off clothing donations and showing that you support a local charity. There is no cost for the placement or management of the bins, and the CPAA accepts full responsibility for the maintenance of the bins.