August Story Time: Celebrating the Lives of People with I/DD

We just wrapped up our August staff meeting where more than 60 Arc administrative staff and management gathered to share stories and learn from each other. We want to share some of these stories with you and hope you find them as inspiring as we do!

  • When was the last time you looked forward to a trip to the bank? For most of us, it’s just a necessary chore, but for the ladies at our Galloway II apartments, it’s become one of the many highlights of their week thanks to the friendships they’ve made with employees at their local TD Bank.  The bank staff and residents have become so fond of each other, in fact, that when one of the tellers was getting ready to move away, she actually visited the ladies at their home to say goodbye and stayed a whole three hours!! Now THAT’S a community connection!
  • Birthdays are the best days, especially at The Arc! Two residents of our Roosevelt group home had a very special day when staff threw them a joint birthday party. But the best part was the reaction from the families who attended the party. They were touched by how the staff cared so much about their loved ones, enough to throw them a fantastic birthday party.  They were grateful that their family member was so respected and appreciated. This is another example of how seriously Arc employees take their job of helping people live meaningful lives, and how our residents and staff are like a family.
  • Family group home tours:  Recently a group of parents of people with I/DD had the opportunity to tour three of The Arc’s residential programs to see first-hand what life is like in our group homes and supervised apartments.  For families who have cared for their loved one at home all their lives and are considering placing them in a group home, it can be an incredibly scary thing.  Will they be happy? Will the staff treat them well? Will they have a real life? So many questions were answered on this tour, as we heard throughout the night and even after as parents reached out to express their gratitude for the experience.  As they met residents and saw how happy they are, how rich and full their lives are, and how much the staff care for them, the look of relief on their faces was clear.  Shereen MacDonald, a Supportive Living coordinator for The Arc, compared the visit to seeing the Grand Canyon.  “You can see all the photos and hear all the stories you want, but until you actually visit the Grand Canyon yourself, you cannot truly appreciate it.”

The Arc is planning to host several tours for families throughout the year. If you have a loved one with I/DD and are considering placing them in an Arc group home, we’d love to include you on a future tour. Send an email expressing your interest to Deborah Jewell at djjewell@arcatlantic.org.

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