WITH APRIL BEING TAX PREPARATION MONTH, we thought it appropriate to shine the “spotlight” on UCP’s Fiscal Department. Think that sounds boring? Think again.

UCP’s Fiscal Team, under the leadership of CFO Dereje Zewdu is a close-knit, enthusiastic group of self-described “nerds” who are not only down for every social opportunity but also manage to rise to every occasion.

Perfect example: during Spirit Week 2017, for the “Mathletes vs Athletes (or Nerds vs Jocks)” challenge, this zany group of number-crunchers and administrators proudly showed themselves to be a FABULOUS collection of nerds! In recognition of their stellar creativity (a word not often associated with financial folks), as well as a nod to their extraordinary costumes, accessories, and props, they were run-away winners of the UCP Spirit Week “Cheerleader” award. (Team Fiscal also came out on top in the Utley Holiday Decorating Contest in December, but that’s a story for another day.)

Many of them also volunteer their time and energy in support of UCP’s fundraising events throughout the year. Clearly, this group knows how to have fun. But they are tops in their jobs too, whether it’s:
  • processing invoices and POs
  • billing for services (to the tune of $2.5 million a month)
  • preparing and processing payroll (for 1,500+ full and part time employees)
  • monitoring budgets, or of course...
  • preparing financial statements and tax returns (not just for UCP, but for the UCP Foundation and two UCP subsidiaries as well). The most recent tax returns for all four entities runs a full 150 pages!!

Team members have a combined 79 years and seven months working for UCP. That’s dedication. Individually and collectively, they epitomize what it is to model “love without limits” in their day-to-day work, no matter what job they are doing. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Team leader, Dereje. Despite having 20+ years of financial experience in his home country of Ethiopia, Dereje had difficulty finding equivalent work in the U.S. He started out six years ago as a temp at UCP doing project work and audit preparation. Thanks to his keen intellect, hands-on leadership, and deep commitment to the mission of UCP, Dereje has quickly risen through the ranks. His gratitude and admiration for the organization that gave him a working start in the U.S. is evident: Dereje recently commented that "UCP feels like home.”

We’re all certainly happy to count him (and the entire Fiscal Team) as our own. To see UCP's Fiscal Team in action over the past year, view the "Enthusiasm without Limits photo montage below!

The first FORE UCP! Mini Golf event took place across some 12 blocks of downtown Harrisburg on Saturday, with close to 100 golfers and volunteers.

It proved to be a great day for all who participated: host establishments, volunteers, and of course, the putters!

We’d like to give a huge shout out to the eight establishments that hosted holes: The Law Offices of SchmidtKramer, Arooga's Downtown, Firehouse Restaurant, the East Shore YMCA, Aleco's Café, Hilton Harrisburg Federal Taphouse, and the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center (HMAC).

Without their support, this event could not have happened!

A few other people and businesses we’d like to thank:
-       Our event sponsors: SchmidtKramer , Keller Williams Realty, and LeadUp.biz
-  Our event planning committee and day-of volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure the event ran smoothly
Rich Valley Golf Course for their generous donation of putters and golf balls
- Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center for hosting our After-Party
We hope to see you on the green for next year’s Mini Golf event…or our regular Golf Tournament in August! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram more event information and photos!
Highmark Walk for a
Healthy Community
Saturday, May 19
HACC Campus, Harrisburg

New in 2018: we are asking family and friends of UCP Central PA to WALK WITH A PURPOSE! We want to pull together--and pool our financial donations--with a singular goal in mind: raise $12,000 to purchase and install a sensory room that will have a life-changing impact for individuals in our program.

If you don't have something more important on your calendar the morning of May 19 please join #TeamUCP to help us reach this goal. Virtual walkers and donors welcome!

T-shirts will be given out and prizes will be drawn for all U-C-Participants!

UCP/Harrisburg Senators
Sports Memorabilia Auction
Saturday, June 2
Carousel Pavilion, Harrisburg

Join us on City Island for a chance at some iconic sports memorabilia! We've got autographed items from the Washington Nationals , Harrisburg Senators , Philadelphia Eagles , Pittsburgh Steelers,   Penn State, (and lots more!) to make up nearly 200 silent and over 100 live auction items! Registration is FREE, and you can preview our auction items from May 15th-June1st at the shops of Strawberry Square.

Check out our social media for more information, or email our Community Relations Coordinator at volunteer@ucpcentralpa.org
Advocacy Alert
Disability Funding Rally
Monday, June 4
Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg

 UCP is gearing up for our participation in The ARC of PA's Disability Funding Rally on June 4th. A number of disability organizations from across the state will be on hand to advocate for funding in support of Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

Mark your calendar and see details in the flier HERE!
Service Spotlight
Accessibility Improvement

UCP board member Lowell Thomas and his wife Renee were instrumental in securing renovations to the playground at the Little Friends Preschool in Mechanicsburg.

Their son Roland has Cerebral Palsy, so the wood chips in the preschool's playground made it difficult for him to get around in his wheelchair.  

Through a successful crowdsharing effort, the Thomas' and their supporters were able to raise over $20,000 to resurface the playground with accessible rubber flooring!

Little Friends will hold their ribbon cutting ceremony on May 10th. Check out CBS's news piece on the construction!