Los Angeles, CA / This Sunday, July 27, 2014 volunteers are scheduled to arrive early at the East Los Angeles Civic Center located at 4801 East Third Street in preparation for the 11th Annual Familia Unida Wheelchair Wash: Health Access Festival.
The first sights of the excited attendees will be a 20 foot inflatable black and white wheelchair with beautiful big brown eyes. The red carpet is rolled out at 10am with volunteers lined up on both sides cheering for the festivities to begin. Please arrive early as there is already a line of wheelchairs lined up ready to make their appearance. Our guest will roll in their wheelchairs, electric scooter or walkers alongside their family or making a grand entrance “solo” where they will be cheered, receive a blessing, a serenade by “Mariachis” that leads to washing of their wheelchairs. With a paparazzi like feel guest are asked interview questions while they roll down the red carpet: “Would you also like a free haircut, manicure, and a massage with you wheelchair wash?”.
Over a thousand local residences will be pampered and visitors supporting are traveling from as far as Mexico and Las Vegas to provide live entertainment and share in the Familia Unida spirit. The dance group “Limitless’ will perform Bachata and Salsa from their wheelchairs, “El Arca” one of the community partners that serves individuals with down syndrome and persons with intellectual disabilities will dance ballet “Folklorico” and share their loving energy. Back by popular demand is Jose C. one of Familia Unidas’ Ambassadors who is in a wheelchair and is donating his wheelchair tune up services for free! Is your wheelchair making funny squeeks? Come let Jose take a look at it!
Founder, Irma Resendez shared “ we are excited to showcase the many abilities of individuals living with a disability or paralysis. Juan, Familia Unidas’ Ambassador living with paralysis from his lower extremities echoed similar sentiments that I often hear, “no one will hire me because I am disabled or because I use a wheelchair”. Please come out and join us in our efforts to bring awareness that all of us have abilities and merit love, support and an employment opportunity. Help to open more doors for those that are often overlooked” said Irma. Castulo de la Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed expressed; “I am delighted to be the Honorary Chair for the 11th annual Familia Unida wheelchair wash and health access fair. I applaud Familia Unida and its founder, Irma Resendez, for exemplifying the meaning of communities working together and showcasing that all people have many abilities.” , Supervisor Gloria Molina said; “I applaud Familia Unida Living with MS for hosting its 11th Annual Wheelchair Wash here in East Los Angeles.
This event continues to bring much-needed resources to the residents of East Los Angeles. It has been a pleasure working with the organization during my tenure on the Board of Supervisors and I look forward to continuing to do so”.
FULWMS was incorporated as a grassroots 501-c3 nonprofit in 1998, as the first MS organization in the United States to outreach to the Spanish speaking community. Today, Familia Unida has evolved to provide programs and services every year, to over 15,000 individuals and families living with MS and specific services for individuals living with various disabilities representing a rainbow of cultures and ethnic groups. The office is located in the heart of East Los Angeles. FULWMS continues to uphold its solid commitment to offer innovative and comprehensive programs and services, granting it National and International recognition. The family centered service model respects and values the diverse population served.
Familia Unida Mission Statement
To provide unconditional love, hope and support to individuals and families living with MS and disabilities to Maximize the Quality of Life”.