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Charissa Thomas : An Unstoppable Spirit at UCPCC

Updated: May 1

UCPCC's Unstoppable Spirit this month is Charissa Thomas. Her journey is a testament to resilience, determination, and unwavering optimism. Despite facing significant challenges from a young age, Charissa's Unstoppable Spirit has propelled her to remarkable achievements and inspired all who know her.

Early Challenges

From the tender age of 7 months, Charissa's parents noticed developmental delays. By 7 years old, seizures became a regular occurrence in her life, prompting her mother to become her primary caregiver. Medical speculation suggested that the forceps used during her birth may have caused damage to her brain.

Special Olympics Success

In high school, Charissa discovered her passion for the Special Olympics. Over 11 years, she excelled in various events, such as running, jumping, bowling, bicycle riding, cross-country skiing, basketball, and weightlifting. Participating in the Special Olympics also took her to many destinations to compete. She was a decorated athlete, winning numerous medals during her time in the Special Olympics.

Despite her physical challenges, Charissa's dedication and talent made her a celebrated athlete within the Special Olympics community.

Transition and Adaptation

Despite surgeries that ended her competitive athletic career, Charissa refused to be defined by her limitations. Embracing work and hobbies with equal enthusiasm, she found fulfillment in various roles, from office work to retail positions. Her creativity flourished through activities like crocheting and stitching, earning her recognition at local fairs.

Community Engagement

Charissa's commitment to community and faith remains unwavering. Whether enjoying family game nights or attending Sunday school, she continues to find joy and connection in shared experiences. Her outgoing nature and genuine interest in others have endeared her to many, both within the UCP community and beyond.


Involvement with UCPCC

Charissa's journey intertwines deeply with her involvement at UCPCC, where her vibrant spirit and unwavering positivity have left an indelible mark on the community.

Since joining UCPCC over 15 years ago, Charissa has been an active participant in the Nest program in Fresno, forming lasting friendships and engaging in various activities. Her favorite outing are trips to Starbucks, symbolizing not only her love for the simple pleasures of life but also her ability to spread joy wherever she goes.

During UCPCC outings, Charissa's infectious smile and genuine warmth have touched the hearts of many. Countless strangers have been moved by her outgoing personality, often gifting her tokens of appreciation. Charissa cherishes these gifts, keeping them in a special drawer at home as reminders of the connections she has made.

Within the UCPCC community, Charissa's presence is a source of inspiration. Her resilience in the face of adversity and her eagerness to engage with others serve as a beacon of hope for those around her. Charissa's involvement with UCPCC not only enriches her own life but also uplifts the spirits of all who have the privilege of knowing her.


Overcoming Adversity

Despite daily battles with pain, surgeries, and health issues including arthritis, migraines, and hearing loss, Charissa maintains a remarkably positive outlook. Her resilience and empathy serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration to all who have the privilege of knowing her.


Charissa's journey epitomizes the mantra of a "CAN-DO PERSON!" Her story inspires us to persevere in the face of adversity, to embrace life's challenges with courage and optimism. In her own words and actions, Charissa reminds us that with determination and a positive mindset, anything is possible. She truly is an Unstoppable Spirit.

Order your bag of Rare Earth Ethiopian Reserve Roast today online to support Unstoppable Spirits like Charissa Thomas.

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