Perhaps you've driven by... a non-descript building with a name out front, simply saying: The Arc. Did you ever wonder what it was? Well wonder no longer. Here's your "you learn something new everyday" moment.
From www.arcwake.org: The Arc, a national organization serving people with disabilities, was founded in 1950 by a group of parents concerned about the lack of services for their children with developmental disabilities. The Arc movement quickly spread throughout the United States. Since then, nearly 1000 state and local chapters of the Arc and their members have advocated for community services to support people with disabilities and their families.
How great is that? This is an organization whose one mission is to help people with developmental disabilities. By creating supported employment opportunities, teaching public speaking classes, and various other community partnerships and outreach programs, the Arc is an organization that makes a difference in the lives of thousands of people - to help them be more independent, confident, happy and supported.
In Wake County, where we live, the local Arc chapter offers assistance to families as well - offering guidance through the IEP process (which was a very intimidating and frustrating process for us!) in addition to advocating state and local government to pass progressive legislation in support of citizens with disabilities, and promote research that enables people with all abilities to live more independently.
The Arc of Wake County has its annual Gala this coming Friday. Tickets are $75 per person, and go to such a worthy cause. Dinner, dancing, silent auction... at Marbles Children's Museum in downtown Raleigh. Sounds like a good date night to me! I know it is short notice, but if you're local, like to get all gussied up and hit the town, and have the ability to support this fantastic organization, I encourage you to purchase your Gala tickets here.
If you aren't local to the Triangle area, I encourage you to find your local Arc chapter here. There are Arcs in every state, and thousands of volunteering opportunities. The Arc is made possible through generous volunteers, charitable donations and memberships, and helps thousands of people across the country!