Urban Alliance

Beyond Disability: UAServe Champions Make Huge Impact Through Service

Article and photos by Urban Alliance staff.

Each week, World Vision can count on UAServe volunteers Greg Leo and Jenny Canyock to do two things: help pack much-needed supplies that will help people in our local community, and to offer countless smiles.

Sunrise Northeast, whose mission is "to provide people with disabilities the assistance and support necessary to enable them to live valued lives in the community," contacted Urban Alliance last winter in an effort to identify volunteer opportunities for their clients who were interested in making an in the community and who wanted to gain work experience.

"Greg and Jenny have put together countless Yoobi school kits that have helped out numerous children in our local schools."

Since then, Greg and Jenny have risen up as UAServe superstars.

At the East Hartford World Vision warehouse, they are provided with opportunities learn new skills as they pack and sort supplies.

Greg, who is visually-impaired, and Jenny, who uses a wheelchair, enjoy packing Yoobi school kits the most. "I like to pack all the pencils in the bags," said Greg,"and I like to work hard and get it done so the teachers can be happy!"

Mike Bassett, World Vision's Warehouse Manager shared, "Dependable volunteer help is what allows our World Vison Storehouse to operate. Greg and Jenny have put together countless Yoobi school kits that have helped out numerous children in our local schools."

Just in the last two weeks, World Vision delivered Yoobi school supplies that were assembled by Greg and Jenny to thousands of students five schools in East Hartford and New Britain.

Both Greg and Jenny agreed that they have also gained new skills. 

"I've learned how to listen, pay attention, follow directions and I've learned how to pack supplies," explained Greg, "I've learned that if you work hard you'll become better at working."

That work ethic is what makes these incredible volunteers from Sunrise Northeast shine.

"It is great to have Greg and Jenny volunteer here. They come in every week ready to work, and they have a strong work ethic," said Bassett.

And now, they're encouraging others to volunteer, regardless of any special needs they may have.

"Don't be nervous. Just volunteer, do your work, get it done, and then you won't have to be nervous. You can do all of the things that anyone else can," said Greg.

Thank you, Greg and Jenny, for your ongoing commitment to making an impact in our local community!

Click here to learn more about volunteering through Urban Alliance.

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