Community Partner of the Year
The Arc Westchester
The Arc Westchester is a unique organization with a long history of family advocacy, person-centered programs, and a staff of 850 caring, innovative professionals. It was founded in 1949 by parents who believed that they needed a family-led organization to provide services embedded in the community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Now, over 70 years later, The Arc Westchester is the largest and most comprehensive organization of its kind in Westchester County.
The mission of The Arc Westchester is to empower children and adults with developmental disabilities to achieve their potential based on personal choices, abilities, and interests. This is accomplished through person-centered services, supported decision making, assistance to families, advocacy and leadership, that together inspire the community to value the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities.
The Arc Westchester supports more than 2,000 individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, every day. Program participants range in age from birth to senior citizens over 90 years. To meet the needs of this diverse population, The Arc Westchester offers a broad range of innovative and effective programs and services.
Choices is a dynamic, educational, community-based day program with the goal of assisting young adults to develop important life skills needed to work in the community, through career exploration, classroom training, volunteerism and/or internships. Each day, small groups participate in community activities with their peers like exploring libraries, museums and historic landmarks, as they learn about health and wellness and workplace, travel, and social skills.
The Choices individuals look forward to their volunteer work at the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Hudson Valley (RMHGHV). Twice a month, a group of bakers go to RMHGHV’s kitchen to bake for the families who are living at the House. Our individuals love researching new recipes, shopping for supplies, and seeing how the delicious baked goods buoy the spirits of the families living at the House, tired and hungry after a day of meeting with doctors and supporting their children in the hospital.
The Arc Westchester’s dedicated Pull Tabs Team, led by Samantha, arrives at RMHGHV every Thursday to pick up donated beverage can pull tabs. The tabs are then brought to a local scrap metal business to be weighed. The cash received for the tabs goes directly to RMHGHV’s programs. This project provides the Choices group with valuable life lessons on the importance of recycling, money management, and giving back to the community. The Arc Westchester is extremely proud of Sam and the Choices volunteers who have spent countless hours collecting tabs around Westchester and donating thousands of tabs to be recycled to benefit RMHGHV.