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For Immediate Release

Music Soothes the Soul

New Bern EMPOWER Program Uses Innovative Methods to Cope With Hurricane Florence

New Bern, NC, October 16, 2018

After Hurricane Florence struck the coastal communities of North Carolina, Easterseals UCP staff never stopped thinking about the families with children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, special needs and physical disabilities.  At the EMPOWER Program in New Bern, which is typically an after school program for children with developmental disabilities, the center opened a week after the disaster for eight hours a day. 

hurricane florenceStaff used music to help the children relax and enjoy their temporary day time environment as schools were closed and parents needed to return to work.  Fairlight DeTorres, a staff member, brought in her guitar and sang often to the children, livening up the day.

The EMPOWER program sponsor, Trillium Health Resources, donated a bag of supplies and toys to each child.  The children were excited to get their gifts.

hurricane florenceAs the children returned to their school routine, they are gradually returning to their normal routines.  “The kids have handled the transition process very well,” said Shea Barnes, Activities Coordinator for EMPOWER Program in New Bern.  She said, “It shows how resilient our children can be!  They are so strong and amaze all of us every day.”

Learn more about the EMPOWER After School Program and EMPOWER Summer Camp Program.  EMPOWER is Engaging and Motivating People through Opportunities in Wellness, Education, and Recreation.

hurricane florenceEven weeks after Hurricane Florence, the Easterseals UCP staff continues supporting individuals living with disabilities and mental health challenges despite their own major personal and professional recovery process. Please give to the Hurricane Recovery Fund benefiting unselfish and committed Easterseals UCP staffers.   Help us support our front line so that they can continue to serve our clients.

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Easterseals UCP provides meaningful and exceptional services so that children and adults living with disabilities and mental health challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities.


Learn more about Easterseals UCP at www.eastersealsucp.com.

For more information contact:
Kathy Edgerton
Easterseals UCP Chief Communications Officer
(O) 919-865-8660
(C) 919-208-0621


Click here to get your local news about autism, mental health and developmental disabilities from Easterseals UCP in North Carolina & Virginia.


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