Our supporters are the heart of the Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara family. Gifts enable us to maintain the life-changing programs and services to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and ensure that they have opportunities toward independence and integration within the community.
Donations of all amounts make a difference every day in the lives of the more than 600 individuals supported by Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. Cheryl Zabel shares her story.
My name is Cheryl Zabel. I am so happy to be able to share with you a little bit about myself. It is very important for everyone to know how critical Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara is to the community and how it’s helped people, like me!
I am the oldest (and wisest) of four siblings. I attended special education classes at Wilson High School and graduated when I was 21 years old. Shortly thereafter, I began attending the day program at Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara where I enjoyed participating in the prevocational program during the week. Attending the prevocational program I learned new skills, good work habits, met goals, and more importantly, earned a weekly paycheck! My favorite job is preparing special mailings. I like stuffing envelopes, applying address labels and organizing letters to be mailed. Two other jobs I like are putting drink mixes in containers and packaging sponges. I like to do just about anything as long as I keep busy.
I am very proud of the accomplishments I have made since graduating from high school and attending Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. I am now 55 years old, live in a supported apartment and am learning to be independent. I enjoy spending time with my family, too. However, my mom and dad spend the winter months in Florida, where I go to see them on my vacation. While they’re in Florida, they don’t worry about me because they know that I am busy during the day at Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. I have a lot of friends at Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, too. I volunteer at many of their fundraising events. I like to greet people, sell tickets and donate gift baskets to their raffles. When I’m not at program or volunteering, I go to bingo, bowl, and like to crochet baby blankets. I am looking forward to learning new things in the coming year.
Thank you for reading my story. I feel very lucky to be able to attend Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. It has really given me the confidence to become more independent, perform meaningful work, and to learn things that will help me achieve goals in my life.
I hope you and your family have a happy holiday. Please consider making an end of the year donation to Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara so that they can continue to help people, like me!
Make your donation today. Please choose from the following and enter your amount below:
- $200 Benefactor
- $150 Founder
- $100 Director
- $75 President
- $50 Loyal Supporter
- $25 Friend
- $__ Other