Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s . . . Geraldo Rivera.
Life’s WORC, a private, not-for-profit organization providing comprehensive support for individuals with developmental disabilities, expects to gain a higher profile, both figuratively and literally, with its new billboard advertising at the Midtown Tunnel.
The billboard includes the organization’s name, web site address, the Geraldo Rivera quote, “Please join me in supporting Life’s WORC and help Make A Difference,” and a photo of happy, enthusiastic developmentally-disabled individuals.
It was Rivera’s uncovering of the horrific conditions at the Willowbrook State Institution which prompted the establishment of Life’s WORC. The advertisement was made possible by Cityoutdoor USA.
“We are very fortunate to have been given a prime location to help spread the word about Life’s WORC,” said Matthew Zebatto, Life’s WORC’s assistant executive director, Development & Public Affairs. “The Midtown Tunnel bulletin can’t be missed by traffic exiting the tunnel when traveling east on the LIE. It also reaches drivers traveling to both major New York airports, Citi Field, Queens and Long Island – which is ideal for us as the Nassau, Suffolk and Queens are the communities we serve at Life’s WORC.”
Life’s WORC (formerly WORC) was co-founded in 1971 by Victoria Schneps-Yunis, publisher, The Queens Courier, whose daughter resided in the Willowbrook State Institution. Following a scathing investigative report by Rivera in 1977 which uncovered gross abuses and neglect of the institution’s residents, Schneps-Yunis rallied friends, political contacts and Rivera to help further advance the cause of people with mental retardation.
These efforts resulted in the opening of its first group home in Little Neck in 1977 – the Geraldo Rivera Residence. It would become the first of many others and the impetus behind the expanded services Life’s WORC now provides throughout Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Currently, Life’s WORC maintains 35 home and 16 non-residential community-based services across the region.
For more about Life’s WORC, visit www.lifesworc.org.