KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
June 13, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy non-profits continue to struggle in the pandemic. The Arc of Katy will launch new summer programs next week that include both in-person and virtual options. The non-profit that provides opportunities for local people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is celebrating 30 years of service.
Serves Members with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
The Arc of Katy provides opportunities for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) to be included as respected and active members of the community throughout their lifetime.
“Our participants love to be with each other and socialize so this has been a hard time,” says Fred Shafer, President of The Arc of Katy Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to be able to do what we love to do and provide programs.”
New Re-Designed Programs Launch Next Week
Next week (June 15) the Arc will launch a re-designed summer program for adults and teens with IDD. They will follow social distancing guidelines and will limit participants and staff to a third of their normal attendance. A new online curriculum will also debut giving those they serve the option of how they can benefit.
“This way all participants will be engaged in some way,” says Shafer.
“They have really enjoyed the Zoom meetings,” says Shafer. “Our instructors have even used Zoom sessions to practice wearing masks so that they are more comfortable with it when we meet in-person.”
The Arc of Katy canceled their normal in-person activities back on March 13 as authorities passed orders and shared concerns over the continued threat of COVID-19. Yet, the Katy group found ways to safely and creatively provide opportunities.
Offered Creative, Safe Engagements During Closure
Over the last three-months, the Arc of Katy has hosted innovative, friendly social distancing engagements including entertainment, fitness, and education videos through Zoom.
On Memorial Day they hosted a drive-through celebration with hot dogs and snow cones.
Celebrating 30 Years, 15 Years for Day-Program
While the organization continues to provide programs, they had to cancel their annual gala where they get most of their funding. This year the Arc of Katy celebrates 30 years and 15 years for their day-program.
“This is a big year with two major anniversaries,” says Shafer. “There are so many uncertainties right now. We just weren’t comfortable and thought it would be best to move the gala to next year.”
The Arc will celebrate these monumental milestones in their service to our community throughout the year, but they are having an online June fundraising drive. Their goal is $30,000. While any amount can be accepted it’s helpful to know:
$60 pays one-day in the summer program for one participant.
$200 pays an online at-home program for 20 participants.
$720 pays an entire one-day summer program for 12 participants.
“We’re so excited to be able to welcome in-person programs again,” says Margaret Laney, board member and volunteer. “But we will be extremely cautious about how we approach this given the current climate.”
“We’re ready to come back,” says Shafer. “But it’s our priority to keep our participants, instructors, and volunteers safe.”
Learn more about The Arc of Katy and their programs at their website. Stay tuned for future events as they continue to celebrate their 30th anniversary while working around guidelines of the pandemic.