Shelby County United Fund (SCUFFY) is pleased to announce and welcome the addition of The Arc of Shelby County, Inc. to the SCUFFY family of organizations.
Don Collins and Holly Forville are the driving force behind the local chapter of The Arc. This partnership with SCUFFY will help ensure that their group is sustainable well into the future. The mission of The Arc is inclusion – to inform, navigate, care, lead, unite, serve, inspire, organize and nurture those with special needs.
“The Arc has worked hard to seek services to help loved ones live a better and full life to be an active part of our community social fabric,” said Collins. “Partnerships such as this allow us to secure better care, better education, better employment and better inclusion in many of the activities that every other citizen in our community enjoys.”
The Arc of Shelby County is a chapter of the Arc of Indiana and The Arc of the United States. Founded by parents working to get services for their children and adults who had a disability, The Arc is the largest organization that serves people with disabilities. In Indiana, there are 45 chapters and almost 30,000 members.
The Arc works every day to:
- Empower families with information and resources to help their loved ones lead full and meaningful lives.
- Empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to be self-sufficient and independent to the greatest extent possible
- Inspire positive change in public policy and public attitudes.
- Promote public awareness of the importance of prenatal care.
- Serve as a voice and advocate for families and their loved ones with I/DD.
- Help demonstrate that persons of all abilities have value and can contribute to making our community a better place to live a happy and more productive life.
In a continuing effort to build a better life for people with I/DD and their families, The Arc chartered the Shelbyville VC Aktion Club in 2009. The Aktion Club is a member of the Kiwanis International family of clubs and the Kiwanis Club of Shelbyville is a co-sponsor, along with The Arc of Shelby County. Today, the Aktion Club has 50 members and serves several local charities in assisting people in the community that need services.
Besides their charity work, Aktion Club members also learn teamwork and new leadership skills. The club meets twice monthly, but, due to the Covid virus, currently meets monthly.
On February 1, 2016, The Arc established the SENSES indoor playroom sensory gym. Originally intended to serve children with special needs, it quickly became apparent that children of all abilities could benefit from sensory play. Since opening, the SENSES gym has served over 8,000 children, including hundreds of children with I/DD or other learning delay. This inclusive environment is important to facilitating children of all abilities to learn to play and play to learn together at an early age.
The Shelbyville Central School system became aware of the importance of sensory play to child growth and development, and prior to opening the new preschool, invited The Arc to share space in the newly created Golden Bear Preschool. The 330 children attending the preschool use the SENSES gym during the week and is also open to the community children, ages 1-6. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week.
The Arc works with other organizations in the community to meet the needs of people with a disability and their families. They work with the special education departments of all four schools, the Shelby County Special Olympics Shares, Inc. They also work with Down Syndrome Indiana and the two major organizations serving children and adults with autism.
The Arc is led by an eight-member Board of Directors. Due to Covid, they currently meet quarterly, and their annual meeting is in September. Their membership roster is about 240 people.
SCUFFY Executive Director Alecia Gross said, “SCUFFY is excited to welcome The Arc into our family of agencies. This fills a niche we had been missing – SCUFFY works hard to serve all members of our community”.This partnership ensures that the families that have a loved one with a delay or disability will have another source for information and access to much-needed services.
For more information, please contact Alecia Gross at the SCUFFY office at 317 398 6231.