2021 Annual Appeal
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to reverberate in ways large and small, here at The Arc of Essex County and in all of our lives.
Even as the world is reopening for so many, there continue to be barriers that prevent those with intellectual and developmental disabilities from being able to fully participate after months of quarantining.
Our community inclusion, recreation, and respite programs have always been vital to individuals and families, providing fun social interactions and learning opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as crucial relief for caregivers. The pandemic took these experiences away from our consumers at a time when they needed it the most. And now, in the aftermath of the lockdown, skyrocketing costs could put these programs out of reach for many of our consumers.
With that in mind, we are asking you to help reopen the doors (and open some new ones) for social and recreational activities through our newly established Community Recreation Fund. Your support will allow us to offset program costs and offer scholarships to our program attendees, helping provide them with opportunities that are both meaningful and affordable.
Even before the pandemic, these programs were only made possible because of cost sharing with the participants, whose buy-in has allowed each activity to break even financially. But upon reintroducing these opportunities to our community, we have found that expenses have risen sharply, many establishments have closed, and additional staffing has been necessary to follow COVID-19 protocols. All of these factors have dramatically increased the costs to run these programs.
We know how much our community relies on these activities. Families supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities shouldered some of the most intense burdens of the pandemic, and so now more than ever, we don’t want to pass these extra costs onto them, or limit their options. We also cannot afford to take on the entirety of the added expenses. But knowing families are desperate for community and social interactions, how can we say no?
For The Arc to continue to protect those we serve, while also taking steps to support their social and emotional needs through these programs, we need your help. Will you donate today to help reunite our program attendees with these valuable experiences? Your gift will directly improve the lives of the individuals and families we serve by safely giving them access to the in-person activities they have missed for so long. Thank you.