Day Support Center For Adults With Disabilities

by Specially Adapted Resource Clubs (SPARC)

Together we've made a real difference among adults with disabilities in Virginia.

SPARC's third facility opens this month in Fairfax, Virginia. We're especially blessed because professionals throughout the human services field talk about our unique financial model and unwavering compromise on providing top support. 

We don't believe in parking people near a couch to watch television nor farming them out to provide basic labor. When adults begin visiting SPARC, they have the option of attending life skills or vocational classes or participating in our unique Circuit Train Your Brain program. Our friends also enjoy music and art therapy as well as a dizzying array of trips.

Did you know we even do outreach of our own? That's right. We help a local church portion out large packages of food for its food pantry. More than 100 hungry people pass through that church every year, and it was only with our help that the church was able to start providing fresh fruit and vegetables with the shelf-stable and dried foods like pasta and rice.

We make a difference in our communities because SPARC believes that everyone should be able to participate in their community's activities. There are always ways to adapt.  

Thank you so much for your help with this project. We're not slowing down either. As we add more people to our participants list, we are starting a scholarship fund at Global Giving. Please become a regular donor though. Our expenses are incredibly lean. Almost everything do is using donated or wholesale services. We have some labor and other administration expenses, but they are well below those you see from organizations our size. That means that your gift goes to support the program, which is how things should be.

We have had a VERY busy time at SPARC that has created some fabulous opportunities for our participants.

Our big news is that we will soon be able to increase our membership by 50% through some timely grants work and a change in our structure that now charges a relatively minor fee for club members.  

SPARC is open four hours every weekday in at least one of two locations. We have also partnered with JSSA, the Jewish Social Services Agency in Fairfax, Virginia to allow our club members to attend life skills and training classes at no additional charge.

Our fee remains only $400 per month, or only $5 an hour. Since JSSA classes can cost several hundred dollar seach, our club members continue to have the most cost-effective adult day services in a unique financial model. We know that any fee is tough for some families and have introduced a new scholarship program.

Donations to SPARC this month will go to that scholarship program so we can reach out to members and their families in months when they have financial need and keep them engaged in their community by visiting SPARC.

These scholarships are funded from a very lean budget so we need your help to create an opportunity for people with financial and disability burdens. Any amount helps to defray our costs in helping dozens of local residents be a vital part of their community by enabling them through education, skill training and community.

Please donate now, and stay tuned for news about our new facility that will allow us to help even more people!

Art & Music Therapy Are Cornerstones of Our Work
Art & Music Therapy Are Cornerstones of Our Work

SPARC members need your help now for unforseen expenses that are making it difficult for them to attend our day program and participate in Circuit Train Your Brain(r),

We have begun charging the lowest amount possible to pay our bills while providing programs for young adults with disabilities. One might think the government takes care of these expxenses, but that's not the case for most people. In Virginia, where we are based, the waiting list for benefits is often ten years or longer.

That means that someone leaving high school has to wait until around age 30--or even longer--to begin receiving abt benefits. Until then, many stay at home, unable to engage with their community. Some can and do work, but it's often very hard for example, someone without the use of limbs who is also blind, to find employment.

Our member-friends are why we started SPARC. For years, people have worked without pay to help make ends meet. Even our few employees who are paid (including management) would have the option of free or reduced price school lunches because of the small amount they accept for their work.

We Need Your Ongoing Donation for Just One Hour A Month

We've done everything we can to slash costs while still providing appropriate and educational day programs. We got the price down to only $400 per month for someone to attend SPARC. We're trying to arrange scholarships now for people who need financial assistance in attending SPARC.

Please donate a recurring $10 each month to provide one hour of a scholarship.

You can change a person's life for the cost of a matinee movie or a couple of cups of fancy coffee. We'll always gladly create a full scholarship for you  and even name it in honor of your friends, loved ones or company. 

But we ask you today for that one hour that changes someone's life because every four people who do so create a full scholarship between them.  

Donate $10 today as a recurring gift and be part of that enriching environmnent.

Adapted means for everyone!
Adapted means for everyone!

SPARC's official name is Specially Adapted Resource Clubs.  We are proud of our name because we believe that just about any activity you can think of can be adapted so that everyone can participate.  Some of our club members have intellectual or physical challenges and adapting things can sometimes take time or some extra resources.

But we believe in doing and living.  Here is what we just did over the past few weeks. 

If you support us financially, we can open our next clubhouse that much faster.


We missed a lot of gathering together time this winter because the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. had many more snow days than usual. Like many organizations, we follow the lead set by our local school system. We also have another way to gauge a storm's impact:  the federal government!  The U.S. government only closed once in the past decade until this winter!  With a bunch of snow days, many of us could not get to the clubs because we rely on public transportation.

But the snow didn't stop us from having an amazing time.


All SPARC members get to participate in art and music therapy.  And we still managed to have plenty of both despite the snow. Our award-winning artwork has been shown in office buildings and the government center. 

We also love to cook! We made family meals this winter as part of the way we do outreach to others.  Our McLean club made an amazing Lemon Rosemary Chicken and the Reston club brought the pasta with sumptuous spaghetti and meatballs!

And we celebrated on March 1 with a King's Cake! Lucky Ellen got the coin this time!


Our friends at Fitness First came to visit and helped show us some amazing stretching activities. Don't forget, a physical challenge doesn't mean that you shouldn't move.  And boy, we can move!

We also had a great time bowling on February 1. Bowling is a terrific indoor activity.  Our trip this month gave us a nice break from our learning about Native American culture.

So how did you spend your winter?  We couldn't get to our clubhouses every day, but we made every day that we could visit count.

Please help us continue our mission by donating today.  This is just a tiny fraction of the things we do because SPARC believes that everyone should be able to participate in their local community.

Halloween Hijinx at SPARC!
Halloween Hijinx at SPARC!

SPARC has always operated with the belief that inclusivity is required for all people to engage with their community. We practice that inclusivity in everything we do, and we work hard to make sure no one is left on the outside looking in while others engage in an activity.

Sometimes that requires "hand-over-hand" guidance.  Many people ask us what that means, and the answer is pretty simple.  Just as anyone might reach out to steady someone who stumbles while walking next to them, guiding hand-over-hand allows a SPARC club member to participate in an activity with another person's help.  

Not all SPARC members need that kind of assistance.  Just like everyone, SPARC members have areas in which they excel and areas in which they could use a helping hand.

Today we need a helping hand from you in the form of a donation as we extend our mission to our friends who don't have access to a place like SPARC.  Some are just out of high school and they want to be involved in the world, not stuck at home with few outside activities and limited contact with other people.

SPARC participates in our community. One of the most remarkable things other organizations tell us they envy is how SPARC members learn about interacting with their community by doing outreach with others in the community. 

Help us reach our goals of adult learning, self-sufficiency, and helping our community.  Did you know that SPARC members:

  • Make sandwiches for a local shelter
  • Help send Christmas packages to soldiers
  • Make dog treats that we sell at a local farmer's market to help defray our costs

In 2014, our art work (part of our art therapy) will appear in an art show at a local community college.  We are also working on The Accommodated Cookbook, a book and video for creating family style meals when someone in the group has a special need.

Every time we help our community, we also help ourselves by learning, doing and participating.

We still must open more facilities.  People reach out to us all the time and ask us if they or a loved one can participate in SPARC.  We just don't have the space in our current facilities.  

During this holiday season, help us help others by donating to the launch of our third location. We're having to do this on our own, and just like we sometimes need to assist in a hand-over-hand way so that everyone is included, we need you to put your hand on ours now.

We continue to receive tremendous pro-bono support from professionals in the community and love from civic groups who are sometimes our arms and legs in setting up and tearing down tents at the farmer's market.

We also need dollars to continue the work we do for ourselves and others. Please donate so that we can reach adults with disabilities who need help becoming involved in their communities.


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Organization Information

Specially Adapted Resource Clubs (SPARC)

Location: Burke, VA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Donna Goldbranson
Burke, VA United States

Funded Project!

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

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