Inspirational glass Christmas ornaments re-discovered at United Ability are on sale


Zach Woolley holding the handcrafted glass ornament modeled after him in 2005. Photo courtesy of United Ability

This fall, in the office of United Ability, the staff made a very special discovery. Tucked away in storage was a box of beautifully designed Christmas glass ornaments that were produced in 2005. (Learn how you can purchase one – HERE)

A handcrafted ornament

Upclose photo of the glass ornament. Photo courtesy of United Ability

Now, these are not your ordinary run of the mill ornaments you can buy at Walmart or Costco. These handcrafted glass ornaments were designed and made by the Royal Christmas Company.

Upclose photo of the glass ornament. Photo courtesy of United Ability

The exquisitely molded glass design depicts the interaction and joy between Santa Claus and a boy receiving a gift illustrating the wonder of the holidays for all children, including those with disabilities. The boy in the special edition ornament?

Birmingham’s Zach Wooley.

An inspirational advocate

Zach, who has cerebral palsy, has been educating and advocating for himself and people with disabilities for more than a decade and a half.

An Oak Mountain High School grad, Zach who is now 29 years old, went on to major and receive a degree in Political Science and Philosophy at Mississippi State University. Within the next year, he is scheduled to earn a law degree at Birmingham School of Law.

In 2005, the Royal Christmas Company used Zach as the boy in the design of the special edition glass ornament that was sold nationwide as a fundraiser for United Cerebral Palsy (now United Ability). In Birmingham, the ornament was sold at Parisians, Bromberg’s and Park Lane Florists.

A fundraiser for the artist’s daughter

According to Zach’s father Michael Woolley, in the process of creating the ornament, Zach found out that one of the artists in Poland, who helped produce and design the ornament, had a daughter with cerebral palsy.

“Zach has always been a very brave and really tough kid. He also has a really big heart,” said Michael Woolley.

When Zach learned that the little girl had an antiquated and uncomfortable wooden wheelchair, Zach, who was in high school at the time, enlisted his the friends at United Ability and others to start a community-wide fundraiser.

Here is the 2007 WBRC video about the fundraiser.

Once the monies were raised they shipped a new modern wheelchair to Poland.

“As hard as life can be, having cerebral palsy, being in a wheelchair, you just don’t realize how lucky you are to live as we do,” said Zach Wooley. “It’s really nice to be able to help someone to have just a little bit of the resources people here have.”

Ornaments on Sale

This Christmas season celebrate Zach Woolley and United Ability with this special 2005 handcrafted glass ornament.

Each limited edition ornament (there are only 35 left) is on sale for $35, plus shipping. All proceeds will go directly to United Ability. Make your purchase today at this following – LINK.

Be inspired and make a meaningful Christmas or end of the year gift on behalf of United Ability.

Sponsored by:


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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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