Last fall, as part of The Arc of Essex County’s “Together We Make Things Possible” Annual Appeal, The Arc featured the story of Sharon and her sister Debbie, who occasionally would participate in The Arc’s adult programming, such as bowling and day trips. The cost of the activities, however, was rising at a pace that kept Debbie from being able to participate as frequently as she would have liked.
Enter The Arc’s Annual Appeal donors, who collectively gave nearly $50,000 to help offset the rising cost of events and activities, and provide scholarships to families who needed them in order to participate in Arc programming.
Debbie was a scholarship recipient, and Sharon says the family is appreciative for the opportunities that have opened up for her.
“Debbie is extremely grateful for receiving this support, just as much as her family is,” Sharon says. “She loves to interact with her peers and is looking forward to the fun activities and trips being offered this spring and summer. The joy on her face is priceless.”
Debbie is one of several recipients who have benefited from the Community Recreation Fund established by the Annual Appeal donations. In addition to scholarships, the fund has also been used to reduce the costs to participants for upcoming community inclusion events, including trips to Point Pleasant Beach, Wild West City, Lake Hopatcong, and the Just Peachy Festival. It has paid for supplies for children’s and adults’ group respite programs and covered the cost of children’s group respite bowling trips. Parents’ Night Out returns this month, with the cost offset from this fund, and summer plans are in the works for barbecues and a children’s carnival, all made possible through Annual Appeal donations.
For Sharon, the experience has inspired her giving to The Arc. “Because of this experience, I’ve made a decision to support The Arc with a monthly donation. It is so important for The Arc to continue their mission to help the disability community reach their full potential and simply put, the benefit of giving is happiness.”
The Arc of Essex County thanks Sharon and all of the generous donors who have made a difference in the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.