ICAN is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the community for over 35 years. Our mission is to serve people with disabilities and their families through employment, social, and respite opportunities. Our goal is to empower people with disabilities to discover and achieve their own I CAN statement.
We do this by providing quality recreational, employment, empowerment, and socialization programs for Southern California’s children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities in a way that meets the needs of the whole family.
Hope Chapel has been partnered ICAN with from the beginning. In 1975, Pat Hammond, a teacher at a school for the physically handicapped, saw a need for increased relational support of and investment in persons with disabilities. So, Pat founded the organization Acampar with the intention of providing a recreational experience that was emotionally engaging, relationally meaningful, and spiritually uplifting. At that point, he ran a summer program facilitating 8 to 10 camps each year.
In 1980, Pat entrusted Acampar to Hope Chapel, where it became Special Ministries. Under the leadership of Howard Mayeda this ministry expanded to provide year around services including weekly Sunday school, weekend programs, and winter camps, in addition to already existing summer camps. Sixteen years later, when Howard left to pastor his own church, he handed over the ministry to Scott Elliott. Since that time, the ministry has continued to expand, working with youth and adults with developmental disabilities, as well as offering Saturday recreational programs.
In 2012, Scott restructured the ministry and changed the name to ICAN. ICAN is now its own separate nonprofit organization but works with local churches to serve persons with disabilities in their community.
How to Serve
Throughout the year we run all kinds of outreach and service programs that include anything from going to the movies to a week long camp. We are always looking for individuals that could volunteer to serve at one of these events.
There are a number of ways that you can get involved:
We currently serve over 250 clients at our overnight camps throughout the year. We offer both summer and winter camps for all ages. Each camp is full of fun and enriching activities that are memorable and impactful.
We also provide a Sunday School program during the 10:45 service on Sundays. We are always looking for volunteers to teach a class or even volunteer within the classroom.
The Bridge Saturday Program runs biweekly and is specifically designed for social development and community integration. We engage in onsite activities such as sports, crafts, computer time, and cooking, as well as offsite activities in which we enjoy what the local community has to offer.
We also regularly provide day trips. These excursions to different Southern California attractions give parents and/or caregivers a well-deserved day off.
Please check out our website at ICANLA.net