*Updated 4/28/2013* Please join me in fundraising again this year.
+ + + + + +*Updated 4/18/2012* I've met my fundraising goal! Thank you so much for the support, encouragement, and donations!
Recently I was at a Brockton Area Arc event where parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities shared their stories.
A father of two sons with autism spoke about the love and joy that they bring to his family. He broke down and cried when he thought about state budget cuts that could take away the family supports necessary to keep both his boys living at home.
A mother who is now 80 years old spoke about having her last child later in life. He has Down syndrome. This woman was feisty! She said that when her son was born, she was told to forget about him and put him in an institution. Although that was a common practice at the time, she couldn't do it.
So she started talking to other parents and learning about how she could take care of her son at home, so that he could have a regular life. Her local Arc chapter was one of the places where she was able to find information and services. She said that while things certainly aren't perfect, her son has a job and is able to live in an apartment on his own with the support that he receives. That support includes having someone who visits him at home regularly to help him pay his bills and who visits him at work to help with any issues that he might be having. That kind of individual support multiplied by many people requires a great deal of time, patience, and money.
As I mentioned in a post that I wrote last year about All Aboard The Arc!, it's amazing to see and hear about the many abilities of people with disabilities.
When I told my mother about this event, she said that when she had my brother, people told her to put him in an institution as well. To forget about him. It stunned me to hear that. I cannot imagine not growing up with my brother.
While my brother has many challenges, he has a very upbeat personality and is the life of any room as soon as he walks in. He's funny, loves watching sports, has a much better sense of direction than I, has a ton of medals from swimming in the Special Olympics and enjoys life.
I don't have children, but I try to be there for my family, especially my brother. That's why it was so important to me to become more involved with The Brockton Area Arc and to help raise awareness about who they are and what they do.
The Brockton Area Arc is the local chapter of The Arc for the Brockton, Massachusetts area. Their mission is to work in partnership with, and for, the community to provide advocacy, information, and direct services for children and adults with disabilities and their families. Their services provide choice and empowerment while supporting individuals as they strive to realize their personal goals. They promote independence, respect, and dignity.
Sunday, April 29, 2012 is the 2nd Annual All Aboard The Arc! This event is to help raise awareness about The Arc and to raise money. With this blog, I'm making my best effort do both. Read my post from last year to learn more about the actual event.
Thank you Pringles and Fred of Mocha Dad for your donations. Your generosity is so very much appreciated!
Now I know that we are in very difficult economic times. Times are tough. But if any more of you could make a donation of any amount, it would help. No amount is too small. Just think, for the price of a large cupcake, you can do so much good! It would mean the world to me and to the people in need who benefit.
If you cannot give money, then if you could share the link to this post and help raise awareness about The Arc, that would help too. Thank you!
Updated: I just found out that it's National Siblings Day. Please take a look at this post.
*Updated 5/12/2012 to remove outdated donation page links and information.
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