Clay Aiken – Having A Great Time

AbilityFirst is an organization that provides programs and services to help children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities reach their full potential throughout their lives. They offer a broad range of employment, recreational and socialization programs and even operate 12 accessible residential housing complexes.

AbilityFirst was established in 1926 as the Crippled Children’s Society of Southern California (CCS) at the Rotary International Convention.

When their organization was founded, the name reflected the thinking and norms of the time. As decades past, dramatic changes were taking place in the field. AbilityFirst expanded to provide programs for adults, as well as children. They also broadened their mission in order to meet the needs of those with developmental disabilities, as well as those with physical disabilities. Development disabilities include autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and epilepsy.

In 1999, the organization adopted the name AbilityFirst to better reflect their mission, their vision for the future, and their commitment to celebrating the unique abilities of every individual.

According to their web page:

At AbilityFirst, our vision is of a society that values each individual and provides the opportunity for all people to lead full and productive lives. For more than 80 years, we have been looking beyond disabilities, focusing on capabilities, and expanding possibilities.

On 11/20/04, Clay Aiken and the Bubel Aiken Foundation celebrated World Children’s Day.  They invited children from the YMCA of Los Cerritos and from AbilityFirst in Claremont to an art event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Clay joined with the children and participated in inclusive art activities.  One of their projects was to trace each others hands.  The children with and without disabilities seemed to have a wonderful time……and so did Clay.

As with so many of Clay Aiken’s charitable events, there was little press about this wonderful function.  But those who were able to witness the event said it was exciting and up-lifting.  Clay did this while he was very sick.  It was another event in his busy November, 2004 when he had a serious sinus infection.  I would imagine that Clay never even thought about canceling.  The pictures that were taken that day show everyone having a great time.





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Comments

  1. Clay Aiken's heart has always been for the good of all children.

    This is a great article, and I have enjoyed reading it. There are a couple of pictures that I never saw before… Clay has always been involved the community. From the time he was a teenager, working at the YMCA. He thrives on making a difference in this world….

    Hugs,
    Judy

  2. Thanks for this blog! Clay Aiken never ceases to amaze me. Of course he would be there with a serious sinus infection!!

  3. Beautiful Blog. Thank you.
    I wish people will focus more on all this information, important and positive Clay Aiken
    and not the garbage that we read elsewhere.
    Thanks
    Rossy

  4. One of the reasons I have always loved Clay is that he really does put people first. His work with children of all abilities, both before his fame and now, makes him very worthy of my admiration. Sometimes I wish more people knew of his humongous heart, but until he starts tootin' his own horn, which won't ever happen, I'm afraid they won't.

  5. Musicfan,

    Thank you for an informative, interesting blog about Clay Aiken and his charitable endeavors. His goal of making a difference has been embraced by many fans the world over.

    Caro

  6. Another wonderful blog! Thank you so much. Clay Aiken and his National Inclusion Project and organizations like AbilityFirst do so much to enrich the lives of children!

  7. Clay Aiken has always put children first. Thanks for letting me relive this wonderful event.

  8. Thank you for this informative blog! Thanks to Clay and people like him who don't close their eyes or look the other way when people need help. Up until a few years ago, people with disabilities didn't even have access to public restrooms, buisnesses, or even sidewalks. They just had to stay home.Thank God for organizations and the people who founded them, like Ability First and Clay Aiken and Diane Bubels foundation, National Inclusion Project. We've all been touched by someone with disabilities and when you see first hand, it changes your heart and the way you look at life and people. Great blog, greatly appreciated!

  9. Great blog! CANN and other bloggers have done a great job in to letting people know that not only is Clay Aiken a great entertainer, but he is a wonderful humanitarian with a huge heart too. Thank you!

  10. When will people get it? Clay Aiken is so much more than "just a singer". He actually does good for others. A few other singers make an insincere attempt to a charity or two, but in the long run they are all about themselves and could care less.

  11. Love reading of all the wonderful things Clay Aiken does for children. He's always working on something for their benefit, Clay really cares! Clay Aiken is a truly wonderful man.

  12. Thank you so much for your informative articles about Clay and all he does for children and adults with disabilities. It sounds just like Clay to go and help out even though he was under the weather. I have seen these pictures before, and he surely looks like he makes the young lady in the striped sweater very happy. They all look like they are having the time of their life…and that is very important.

  13. I love reading positive blogs like this one. Clay has been involved in so many events and most never make it to the media. He goes about quietly doing good things and that is why he is the man he is. I had not seen some of the pictures posted here. It looks like a good time was had by everyone there. Clay gives his all – sick or not.

  14. Clay Aiken has always done so much for children and for all the right reasons. Because he cares, because he wants to make a difference, because it matters.

  15. As I sit here and listen to all the nonsense of people who grasp at anything to be famous , I am in awe of such selfless people as Clay Aiken. Clay uses his fam not for his own glory , but for the betterment of others . It is NOT all about him , but about those we need to include and pray for ,those who make such a difference just by being themselves!!
    I love you Clay Aiken and cannot wait to hear those pipes yet again!

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