Day Support Center For Adults With Disabilities

$7,479 $42,521
Raised Remaining
SPARC members gather at Great Falls
SPARC members gather at Great Falls

Summer is the time for outings on sunny days, laughter and moments of friendship shared on an excursion away from home. 

This month our friends at SPARC visited Great Falls, Virginia.  A beautiful 800 acre national park surrounds the waterfalls in the Potomac River that separate Virginia and Maryland.  They are beautiful falls that contain sections that are classified as Class 5 white water, which means only world's best kayakers can successfully navigate them.

So how do you get so many adults who have disabiities to one of the overlooks in this large and beautiful national treasure?

We do whatever it takes to create complete inclusion.  Our entire club is based on the belief that everyone should be able to interact with their community.  And how can you live near some place this beautiful and not visit, even if you are in a motorized wheelchair weighing several hundred pounds?

We make those trips possible, just like we adapt education, art and even entrepreneurship to the best way SPARC members can participate rather than sitting at home in front of a television screen.  

Your help means that we can continue this work of empowering everyone to participate in fun and work that we sometimes all take for granted.  Giving a small amount each month helps you and us plan.  Please donate one of these amounts on a monthly basis.

$10 a month hosts our club members’ website

$20 a month purchases art and music therapy supplies

$30 a month replenishes consumable supplies in the clubhouse

$40 a month covers our storage unit rental fee


SPARC can only increase the number of people we help with your help.  We know there are thousands of eligible members just in our area. Please donate today and help us incorporate them even more into our community.

Content and At Peace
Content and At Peace
Frank visits SPARC.  Looking for biscuits maybe?
Frank visits SPARC. Looking for biscuits maybe?


Here is your riddle courtesy of SPARC.

What's the best compliment a dog can give something?

"That's pawesome!"

And that's what dog owners in Northern Virgnia are telling us about our work in making dog biscuits in the clubhouse and selling them at a local farmer's market with the Knights of Columbus.

How cool is that?  Have you seen our friends lately?  Many live in wheelchairs that weigh hundreds of pounds. Others have visual difficulties or learning difficulties or some kind of thing the world calls a disability.

But here we are--learning all about production and the responsibility of running a small business.  

Our trial program is one way that we engage in our community.  We are proving to ourselves and our world that we want to and deserve to engage completly with our comunity. Every day we create more proofproof we need for government agencies and other organizations. Our successes shows that adults with disabilities can join in the community.

We continue to need your help every month.  We don't hire people to drug our friends into quiet or buy bunches of TVs to park people near. Our SPARC friends are more engaged and active in the community than many people without a visible disability.

Your support of our programs helps us reach even more people.  We are ready for our third location.  That's why we started the project. We calculate that a new clubhouse location directly and positively makes more than 100 individuals. 

Thank you for your ongoing support.  You have helped us make our pawsome cookies a hit  More importantly, you have helped us show others that everyone deserves to interact in their community.  

Please let us know if you would like more information, and don't stop now.  Summertime and vacations are when programs like ours sometimes lose traction.  Please remember us when you plan your gifts this month.

Making dog biscuits in the clubhouse!
Making dog biscuits in the clubhouse!

Thank you for donating to SPARC.  We need your help more than ever as we struggle to replace county funds that were slashed during the last round of budgeting.

We continue providing day support for more than 20 adults with disabilities in Northern Virginia.   Several thousand more are on state maintained lists for assistance, but the state administration appears more focused on a massive transportation bill.  We continue to learn that more funds will not be made available to support people with disabilities.

That leaves a huge gap in services.  Our participants continue to interact with the community in ways that warm anyone's heart.  In McLean, Virginia, club members visit local merchants together and the Starbucks next door is a favorite visitng spot for our friends.

We also continue making dog biscuits to practice using the kitchen and cooking.  Self-sufficiency is important, and we could one day have a little micro business!  For now, though, the important thing is participating together in the community, with each other, learning and practicing new things and being out in the community.

Please help us help more people with disabilities.  We appreciate your generosity and love.

In the wake of county budget cuts that left us without an important source of funding, our holiday fundraiser hopes to provide some much needed resources.

SPARC ROCKS is our second end-of-year fundraiser (and our third ever!).  We'll be having a terrific brunch at The Dulles Westin Hotel in Herndon, Virginia.    The Mothership, a local Led Zeppelin tribute band, is graciously providing music for free.   We've also booked an auction company to provide memoribilia for a silent auction--cool items from sports, music, politics and pop culture.

We still need your help.

As you read this, please buy event tickets.  If you can't attend attend, please consider an end-of-year donation at the same link.  

Local budget cuts have caused a budget shortfall of tens of thousands of dollars this year and next year. We're working hard to make up the lost funding, but have already begun asking participants to pay for services that were previously free.

SPARC is important.  We provide day support for adults with disabilities, a time of life between the care often provided by governments for children and seniors.  We believe these adults, people like you or me, should be able to engage in their community.   And since there aren't services to make that happen, SPARC steps in to close the gap.

We've just marked the one year anniversary of our second facility in McLean, Virginia.  We continue striving to open a third and maintain the level of support we have provided SPARC participants for six years. 

We're thankful for our extended Global Giving family and hope to see you at the event or connect with you in other ways!


SPARC friends gathering in June.
SPARC friends gathering in June.

  The men and women who join SPARC are there because there are almost no programs to help Virginia's adults with disabilities who are too old for school and too young for senior citizen services.  

You know that long time between turning 21 and retirement age?   That's the time period for which Virginia offers almost no services.  

This makes SPARC (which stands for   SPecially Adapted Resource Club) a vital part of our friends' lives.  Some work, others enjoy their families and all bring special gifts and talents to the world.   But SPARC remains their link to the community outside family and close friends almost without exception.

Want to know the cool things we've done lately?

  • We saw the Kirov School of Ballet at Wolf Trap National Park (right between both locations!)
  • We made a video that will have its world debut at SPARC Rocks, which is why you have to be there.
  • We made fajitas and cupcakes and all kinds of food.  We all love to cook... and eat!
  • We saw the Culkin School of Irish Dancers at Wolf Trap too!

Why Your Support Is Important

Our golf tournament fundraiser May 7 was wonderful, and we were once again overwhelmed by the community's generosity.  We were also thrilled to have Washington's ABC7 Chief Meteorologist Doug Hill join us as our daytime host and WTOP Radio's Nathan Hager join us in the evening.  

Our next fundraiser is SPARC ROCKS,  an evening with live band, DJ and some of the best food in Northern Virginia at the Westin Dulles.   Please join us if you're in the DC area or will be on September 21.  Ticket and sponsorship information is already online.

If you can't come to our September party, please help us by donating.  Please remember that SPARC does not benefit from federal or state funds and relies on the community for the support that sustains our efforts.

We know that the SPARC that shines in us all comes out when everyone gets to interact with their community. 


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

donate now:


Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?
Support another project run by Specially Adapted Resource Clubs (SPARC) that needs your help, such as:

Project Leader

Donna Goldbranson

Burke, VA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Day Support Center For Adults With Disabilities