Dear Friends of Abilities First,

I am William Eugene Van Ornum, Jr. and I am the 2019 Abilities First Ambassador!

It makes me very happy to be the Ambassador and be able to be the representative and voice for all those who receive services from Abilities First. I help to let others see the possibilities of individuals with disabilities, advocate for civil rights, and assure all people are treated fairly.

My day at Abilities First, like the other 1,400 individuals served, is full of great experiences. Mine begins with a friendly smile and greeting from the bus driver, who starts my day off in a good way, to time spent with friends, going out for walks, activities in the community, working on reading comprehension, to learning a new job and enjoying time with the Abilities First staff. I feel very happy seeing my friends accomplishing things that they are trying. I like having happy feelings, and sharing those so others can feel happy, too.

Everyone has abilities to strengthen and share. It is very important to me that others have the same opportunities in program to experience what I do, whether they are 2 years old or 102 years old.

It would mean a lot to me if you would consider a gift to Abilities First to support people with disabilities. Your generosity would support books for learning, gas for travel to experiences, housing opportunities, and so many things that are valuable to me and my friends. I would be so happy that my voice could reach you, and together we can help them.
Please do all that you could, all that you can.

I’m sending you a hug. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

With appreciation,

William Eugene Van Ornum, Jr - Sign
William Eugene Van Ornum, Jr.
2019 Abilities First Ambassador


An elderly couple dressed nicely and smiling.

Ways to Give

Support the mission through a gift, in-kind donation of services or goods, sponsorship or charitable giving.

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Ways to Join In

Support the mission through individual, corporate or community group volunteer efforts, or provide employment and volunteer opportunities for our individuals.

In 1962, the vision of just a few people, moved a mission that now impacts the lives of over 1,500 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, age birth through life, throughout the Hudson Valley.

Since its founding, the generosity of numerous donors and volunteers has assured the mission continued. Consider ways that you, a community group or a business can partner with Abilities First to impact mission, lend a hand, or support the financial resources required to assure its future availability and financial security.

Philanthropic leadership to enrich the mission of Abilities First, Inc.

Founded in 2018, the mission of the Foundation for Abilities First NY is to garner the financial resources necessary to meet the programmatic interests and to assure the sustainability of the mission of Abilities First, Inc. FAFNY will establish a stable commitment of philanthropic support, to assure the programs, services, and quality of life opportunities remain strong and available, as well as ensure the organization’s fiscal resiliency during unexpected changes.