Nanaimo Unique Kids

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization
City & State:
British Columbia
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

To support the needs of the neuro-developmentally disabled children and youth.

To offer programs and services to the disabled.

To increase community awareness of disabilities.

To provide information and education to the parents and the community.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization (NUKO) is making a difference on Vancouver Island, Canada and donated Microsoft software products has helped NUKO do even more as it provides us with tools that help us operate daily. We have been recognized locally in newspapers and recently received a National Award for the amount of dedicated work, support and public awareness and education disseminated to hundreds of families and professionals in our area. We have hundreds of individuals visit our website monthly and we couldn’t have produced the sight, without the help of TechSoup software and Microsoft. Donated Microsoft software products have helped support NUKO in so many ways. The software is used every single day to get awareness out into our community about the importance of our cause, our mission and our dreams. Our organization uses all Microsoft products to reach out to our donors, grantees, service clubs, professionals and families interested in our program. We create letters, databases, brochures, invoices, flyers, calendars of events, presentations, charts, budgets, templates, forms, screening materials, and organizational charts to name a few. All of our educational workshop materials are created with Microsoft software.The donated software is also used in our two student Learning Centres to teach our special needs children. Our kids learn basic computer skills, create their own social stories attaching clip art, photos and music or sounds to their work. Microsoft Software helps them develop self-confidence and self-esteem. Everything the children do on the computer is set up for success! This makes them smile and feel good about themselves.The staff create and print worksheets, flash cards, spelling words, puzzles and games, the list goes on and on. NUKO is so grateful to Techsoup and Microsoft for providing our organization with cost effective, efficient software tools to do our work. Working together develops strong relationships and respect. NUKO is so excited about entering the Microsoft Impact Story Contest as our organization could really benefit from the $5,000 cash grant plus the $25,000 in donated Microsoft product. Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization will do 'whatever it takes' to meet the needs of unique children and that is why our program is vital. NUKO is aware and present to their vision and dream which is to eventually build facilities rather than rent them in order to offer a permanent home for programs and services.Hand in hand we can make a difference, Microsoft helps us reach for the stars.BACKGROUND INFORMATIONNanaimo Unique Kids Organization was founded in 2005 by a small group of parents whose neuro-developmentally disabled children (cerebral palsy, autism, Tourettes Syndrome, Aspergers, Learning Disabilities, Intellectual Impairments, ADD/ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other sensory and anxiety disorders with mental health complications) were not thriving, but just surviving, in the public classroom setting. Often parents were being called to come and retrieve their children from the school because staff could not meet their needs. Parents knew there needed to be an alternative program but there wasn't one available at the time in the small community. Parents took action and four families made the decision to create their own “learning centre” for special needs children. This is how 'Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization' was born.Since those humble beginnings, Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization has become a registered provincial non-profit society and a federally registered charity. NUKO has successfully evidenced its work in the community and has partnered repeatedly to improve programs and services for disabled children. Awareness and media attention have brought more families to NUKO. The original program for five children has now grown to two Learning Centers, with an enrolment of 16 children. There are more families in the wings on waitlists, and current initiatives are underway to examine future expansion possibilities. We offer four programs year-round for children and youth with neuro-developmental disabilities between ages six and 15 years: Day Program runs Monday to Friday with an academic focus; Therapeutic Community Recreation program; Life-Skills programming; Annual Summer Camp. The Summer Camp is funded by donations from community organizations and brings 6-7 weeks of full-day programs to 5-7 children daily for each of five days weekly (numbers depend on student support needs). Fundraising efforts have allowed NUKO to obtain a Variety Children's Charity Sunshine Coach (15 passenger van); support to create and distribute a Nanaimo Unique Kids Survey throughout the community in which the survey findings revealed the need for more services in the community. Survey results also then led to more funding and the development of the Unique Kids Mentoring Project which supports children with recreation, opportunities for tutoring and workshops/support groups for their families.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
Supporting Work URL