DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Christmas celebration Thursday at United Rehabilitation Services coincided with a very special birthday of one of its founding clients.
At 71 years young, Mary Carol Bristow still comes to URS and has been since the center opened its doors 61 years ago. She celebrated her birthday with her sister and friends at URS Thursday.
“She and her best friend Robin started here in 1956,” states URS Executive Director Dennis Grant.
Her mother, Marge was instrumental in forming and growing the organization.
“Started out with a small group of families who volunteered to support one another,” states Grant.
The small group transformed into the organization it is today. URS serves nearly 250,000 adults and children with disabilities in 13 counties, helping them become independent.
“We serve children from six weeks and seniors up to 84 right now,” says Grant. “We have over 50 seniors that we serve every day. So it’s a special place where we can actually support people throughout their entire lifetime.”
Clients, volunteers, and families packed the gym Thursday to celebrate Mary Carol and the spirit of the season. Decked out in Santa hats and their Christmas best, they put on a show with some holiday tunes. As they smiled and beamed with cheer, URS realizes they have much to celebrate.
“Now how special is that for this community? The difference that a small group of people can truly make, and that’s what we’re all about is making a difference in the lives of those we serve,” beams Grant.
URS also says ’tis the season for giving. They say nine out of ten dollars goes straight to the clients they serve.