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A special needs organization is one that focuses on people afflicted by a specific condition, such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, brain injury, orthopedic impairment, visual or hearing impairment, and a wide range of others.

Some of the best non-profits in the nation fit the definition of a special needs organization. Supporting them with your cash donation or volunteer time can make you feel on top of the world.

Here are some of the top special needs organizations in the U.S.:


The Arc

In 1950, people who are intellectually disabled or were developmentally disabled were most commonly called “mentally retarded.” Back then there were also almost no programs to administer to the special needs of these people or support for their families.

Today, The Arc has 730 chapters in 39 states. It is headquartered in Washington D.C. It offers referral services and information for families caring for a developmentally disabled person. It also engages in individual advocacy to address such needs as special education, health, residential support, employment programs and much more.


United Cerebral Palsy

UCP serves people afflicted with this brain condition that produces muscle weakness, impaired muscle coordination, muscle stiffness, difficulty swallowing, speaking, hearing and more. People with this condition often become 100% handicapped.

UCP was founded in 1949 by Leonard Goldstein, the founder of the ABC broadcast network. Two of its major programs are My Life Without Limits and My Child Without Limits. UCP has helped millions of people lead better lives while dealing with this difficult and disabling condition.


Friendship Circle International

This is an organization that serves Jewish children with special needs. It has more than 80 regional chapters globally. Each chapter in each community creates meaningful relationships between volunteers and special needs children. This result in increasing confidence, redefining world views, inspiring dreams and for both volunteer and recipients.

Friendship Circle also provides Torah circles for kids, does home visits, facilitates camping trips and puts together special holiday programs. It’s headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.


Goodwill Industries International

This excellent organization provides financial coaching, loan support, savings strategies, tax preparation, financial aid, clothing assistance and a lot more. It has helped more than 26 million people gain greater financial stability in their lives, including helping them get jobs, better jobs or advance their educations.

This organization has been around since 1902 and today is headquartered in Derwood, Maryland.