The Holiday Season Is Just Around The Corner And We Invite You To Kick It Off With Us On Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (Nov 27th), you'll have the chance to join people around the world and support a cause close to your heart-that of our dear friends who have Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities.

The Arc of Dauphin County has provides services and supports to our community for 65 years. Please help us keep our programs moving forward-especially Educational Advocacy, a unique lifeline for families struggling to do the best for their children.

This Giving Tuesday please consider making a gift to this tremendous one day of giving, which supports our programs and services  #ImpactArcofDauphinCounty.  Please go to the Donate button on our Website,

Mark your calendars, spread the word, and make a difference in the everyday life of our Consumers

Craig's Corner
A Message from our President and CEO

Dear Fellow ArcNews Readers,

Our issue of The ArcNews is dedicated this month to two Arc consumers who died in the tragic mass murder last month in Pittsburgh.  The day after this tragedy I communicated with my counterpart there in Pittsburgh, who said, "We haven't slept the last two nights."  While hard for us to understand why this would happen, we can certainly continue to hope and pray for innocent lives everywhere to be protected and to be safe from harm and danger. Worth the hope.

We all have heavy hearts due to the tragedy in Pittsburgh.  The Monday following the shooting at Squirrel Hill, we received the message below from our sister chapter of Arc located in Pittsburgh, known as "Achieva," (Arc of Westmoreland, Beaver, and Allegheny Counties) and we share it with you below.  Achieva lost two of its Consumers in the tragedy. 

Also, not mentioned in the message below: Along with the brothers, a 96 year-old neighbor and friend of the Rosenthals (and a Holocaust Survivor) was killed. Also, a physician neighbor/friend who hurried to the scene to try to help, was killed during his act of mercy. 

"The ACHIEVA family is devastated at the loss of two well-respected members of our community. Two extraordinary men, brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, were victims of the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue. 

Cecil and David had a love for life and for those around them. As long-standing recipients of ACHIEVA's residential and employment services, they were as much a part of the ACHIEVA family as they were their beloved neighborhood of Squirrel Hill. 

They loved life. They loved their community. They spent a lot of time at the Tree of Life, never missing a Saturday. "If they were here they would tell you that is where they were supposed to be," said Chris Schopf, Vice President, Residential Supports, ACHIEVA. 

Chris added, "Cecil's laugh was infectious. David was so kind and had such a gentle spirit. Together, they looked out for one another. They were inseparable. Most of all, they were kind, good people with a strong faith and respect for everyone around."

Our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy to the Rosenthal family, and to all who were affected by the tragedy at Tree of Life." 

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns:

Lisa Razza, Director of Communications, Achieva
412-995-5000 x410
724-244-9910 (Cell)    

We Champion Care Givers in November

Each year, we observe National Caregiver Month in November, honoring those who devote their lives to providing care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Truly, "care givers", also known as DSP (Direct Support Personnel) or "Hab Aids" are often unsung heroes, and they do, as noted in the quote below, so much to "keep our communities strong."
The daily demands of caregiving for individuals with I/DD can be challenging, and the commitment of time and resources that goes into ensuring a loved one's well-being leaves little time for personal goals, professional duties, and planning for the future.

"Family members, friends, and neighbors devote countless hours to providing care to their relatives or loved ones. During National Family Caregivers Month, we recognize and thank the humble heroes who do so much to keep our families and communities strong."
President Barack Obama, NFC Month Proclamation 2012

National Family Caregivers Month -- celebrated each November -- is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country.

Celebrating Family Caregivers during NFC month enables all of us to:
  • Raise awareness of family caregiver issues
  • Celebrate the efforts of family caregivers
  • Educate family caregivers about self-identification
  • Increase support for family caregivers
Caregiver Action Network is the organization that chooses the theme for National Family Caregivers Month annually and spearheads celebration of NFC Month nationally.
President Clinton signed the first NFC Month Presidential Proclamation in 1997 and every president since has followed suit by issuing an annual proclamation recognizing and honoring family caregivers each November.

Photo courtesy of Nathan Anderson

Down Syndrome Survey

The University of Illinois and University of Mississippi are conducting an anonymous survey in order to further their research regarding individuals with Down syndrome who have transitioned out of high school.

To determine the experiences of individuals with Down syndrome and their  families regarding the transition out of high school. The information parents or caregivers provide will help us identify the supports and resources families need.

Participation involves:
Complete an anonymous online survey that should take about 20 minutes.

Who can participate:
Parent or primary caregiver of a young adult with Down syndrome who has stopped attending high school within the past five years and currently lives in the United States.

How to participate:
Contact us:
If you have any questions, contact a Transitions Project Team member:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign   
Dr. Meghan Burke Dr. Marie Channell
(217) 300-1226 (217) 300-3613

University of Mississippi
Dr. Susan Loveall
(662) 915-5126
Jonathan's Rainbow

Eve J. Benner is a busy single mother of three and a dental hygienist; her child,  Jonathan, has Down syndrome.

A long time ago, while juggling all that her  life entailed, she decided that she wanted to write about her journey and, in  particular, Jonathan's story. Two years ago she was able to start working on a  book and this month  Jonathan's Rainbow has been published by Sunbury Press It is the story of twenty years of struggle s and successes, tears and laughter, and the  strength that family and friends can create.

Eve will be at the Arc of Dauphin County on November 30 at noon-1 PM to present her book and, if time allows, share her plans for a non-profit to help people with speech and language impediments.

This event is free of charge and attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch. Please call us at  717-920-2727 if you plan to attend.

Time: 12:00-1:00 PM

Location: The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut street, Harrisburg.

The Miller's Minute

Who Can Set Up the ABLE Account?

ABLE accounts, new tax-free saving accounts for people with disabilities, hold great promise for special needs planning. But among the many questions surrounding ABLE plans is who can open accounts? Only the person with a disability? Parents? Other relatives? Friends?

Created by Congress via the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014 and modeled after popular 529 college savings accounts, ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to save for disability-related expenses while maintaining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and other government benefits. People can save up to $15,000 annually, up to a maximum $100,000. Nearly every state in the country has passed legislation enabling people with disabilities and their families to open these new savings accounts.

So who is allowed to actually open an account? ABLE accounts can be set up either by the account beneficiary (the person with disabilities), or that person's parent, legal guardian or another person with power of attorney.

If beneficiaries set up the accounts, however, they must not be a minor, meaning they are age 18 or older, and not have cognitive disabilities that would prevent them from being able to do so.

One limitation on ABLE accounts, however, is the ABLE Act's strict definition of a qualifying disability. In order to be the beneficiary of an ABLE account, the person's disability must have begun prior to the age of 26. This excludes many people with disabilities that formed later in life, such as many individuals with chronic conditions or disabilities resulting from car crashes or other incidents. The ABLE Age Adjustment Act, currently before both houses of Congress, would raise the onset-of-disability age from 26 to 46.

If you want to set up or contribute to an ABLE account for yourself or a loved one, talk to your special needs planner today.

For more on ABLE accounts, including fact sheets, articles and short webinars, visit the ABLE National Resource Center.

Millers Financial Group
1801 Fruitville Pike, Suite 202 | Lancaster , PA 17601
Phone: 717-509-7154

 Elections Matter

Nearly every agency we know pushed hard to turn out the vote during the "Mid-Terms," which just happened November 6th. Did you see our post last month that if all the voters with disabilities and their families voted, we would occupy 25% of the complete vote according to Rev Up The Vote?

Here at The Arc it isn't our job to tell you how to vote, but it is our job to ensure that as many Americans with disabilities as possible show up to vote. After all, as our community knows all too well, Elections Matter.

It's why we support the REV UP Campaign, which stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Imagine for a moment if all Americans with disabilities went to the polls on Election Day. Is that too lofty of a goal? Probably. However, it's not too lofty to aim towards increasing our participation, especially as we show elected officials on BOTH sides of the aisle that we are a community that is powerful and should not be taken for granted.

Thank you for supporting the vote. According to the Arc of Pennsylvania, their social media outreach to potential voters reached 43,842 readers (including Facebook posts that were shared with others), and 10,237 viewers read Arc posts. The top post reached 4,684 readers.

There was a great deal of activity, an increased vote. Thank you for stepping up and exercising your rights as a citizen. Every vote matters.

Bus Trip to: CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, DC this December?


We are thinking of planning a bus trip to Washington, DC to see the Cherry Blossoms (this spring) and/or a trip to see the magic of Christmas at the Nation's Capitol (Late December; Washington, DC ).

Would you like to go? We are gauging interest to see who could go. We would keep the cost of the round trip as reasonable as possible, and we have a built in guide to lead the trip. The trip would be on a luxury bus with bathroom.

Craig George, Arc President/CEO came to Pennsylvania from Washington, DC where he and his wife (one of the few native Washingtonians) lived for several decades while he was at the Smithsonian Institution and other DC nonprofits. He has conducted many tours of his favorite city, and would lead ours.

Either of these tours will include:
  • Visits to fascinating sites most tourists never see.
  • Behind the scenes visits at one of the Smithsonian's museums.
  • Opportunity for meals.
  • We will only go to accessible sites-accessible to all regardless of mobility needs.
  • Depart from the Arc HQ parking lot in Harrisburg, and return to same location.
  • Onboard snacks for the bus trip, our compliments.
Either trip could be a day trip (leave very early, return late, well after dinner so dinner will be in route).

The Christmas Trip would include:
  • National Christmas Tree and state trees tour 
  • White House Christmas tour  
  • Shopping in majestic Union Station 
The Cherry Blossom Trip would include:
  • A walk along the breathtaking tidal basin, where most of the cherry blooms are displayed against a majestic backdrop of either the Jefferson Memorial or Washington Monument. 
  • A visit to Teddy Roosevelt Island-one of the few monuments/memorials in DC that most people not only do not know about but have never visited.  
  • Possibility of: Smithsonian American Art Museum Cherry Blossom Celebration 
  • Possibility of: Free ticket to the official kick off for the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Warner Theatre (may only be possible if we set this trip up as an overnight trip.)
We will have a list of dozens of opportunities for both trips. We will poll all those who say they want to go and do our best to customize the trip to match the desires of a majority of the guests who sign up. Regardless of the final itinerary, it will be a fun, exciting day designed to please all.

We are looking at price per seat as $55.00, but if we cannot get a bus company to make a donation, we may have a higher seat cost.

Please send us an e-mail message and indicate if you would be interested in Christmas or Cherry Blossoms or both, and if you would be more interested in Christmas 2018 (this year) or Christmas 2019 (next year). Also, please indicate the price range you are comfortable with, and if you would be interested in an overnight trip of two days and one night (we expect cost with meals and hotel would be between $300 and $450 (for an overnight trip.) If you cannot e-mail, please telephone:
  • To e-mail, send to: 
  • To call, please call Barb Bressler at: 717.920.2727
Thank you for your input. This helps us to make plans.
Special Volunteers Needed

Here at The Arc of Dauphin County, we have to plan one to two years in advance on every project we do in order to ensure we have adequate resources.

In 2019, in order to make a big splash with our participation in the May Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community, one of our team members suggested in a staff meeting that we have special "Arc Nights" at local restaurants that support our cause, and would give back a percentage of receipts to support our mission. We figure if we can set up one of these a month from January to June, we could add over a thousand dollars to our Highmark Walk!

To "pull this off" we need a volunteer or volunteers to run a table either in the lobby/vestibule of the restaurant or just outside. The table display tells about your Arc, and the volunteer would give a coupon to each guest of the restaurant that wants one. They give the coupon to their server, and the restaurant moves a percentage of the diner's guest check to our Arc. 

Each appearance at a restaurant requires the following:

First: A Volunteer who would call area restaurants and get us set up to have an "Arc Night" one evening. We would advise you on how to approach the business, and what to say.

Second: Volunteer (preferably a team of two) to come by the Arc and pick up the display table and materials and coupons-then go to restaurant at the appointed time and hand out the coupons. Next day, bring table and materials back and let us know how it went.

Your volunteerism would help our small staff to accomplish big things!

If you can help in any way, please call Craig at 717.920.2727.

Meet Christopher...

He is as happy as he can be, what a joy!  Our Arc of Dauphin County helps our friends and neighbors who have intellectual or developmental disabilities through numerous programs and services that we offer.

Dear Readers of The ArcNews: We have sent the following message by e-mail to the businesses we know. We ask that you kindly forward it on to other businesses you may know so all enterprises that are budgeting for next year have a very good "heads up" regarding opportunities to help support our programs and services. 

Sponsorship Opportunities, pick one...better still, pick several! Please call Craig George at 717.920.2727 to discuss opportunities. Regardless of which sponsorship(s) selected, donor businesses are directly helping persons with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities . In fact, on average, 88 cents out of every dollar goes directly to programs and services, and in many cases, 100%!

November, December
  • Campaign for Best Lives: Our annual appeal campaign launches in late November and runs into 2019. At any point, we welcome corporate support that builds strength into our core needs required to keep our programs and services operating. Our aim is a $20,000 shot in the arm, and any amount will move the "needle" toward the $20,000 mark!
  • Valentines Dinner Dance: Our Valentine's Dinner Dance is a way for persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to have a tremendous "date night." Often the only time in the year many of these folks "dress up" and come to a restaurant with served food via waiters and table service, this dinner and dance brings folks out "dressed to the nines" in tuxedos and formal dresses. Wheel Chairs, walkers, and other means of mobility matter little as everyone enjoys moving to the rhythm of the music. This year, we are welcoming sponsors for the first time to help make the event even better. Please call me and we can discuss what you or your team of employees can do! (2.14.19)
  • Our Art, Our Voice 45th Annual Art Show, Art in the Round, March 2019. Sponsors can send up to eight persons to participate in a night of art created by persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Enjoy entertainment, great food and remarkable thought provoking art!

  • Speak Out! Celebration. March 24th, 2019. The Speak Out! Celebration champions persons with Special Needs who have had courage, determination, and strong desire to achieve something hard-a milestone of accomplishment in their lives. Their message of hope to others with disabilities is, "If I can do it, you can too!". Usually we have two or three featured speakers, all of whom faced challenges due to their disability. The formal luncheon is at the Central Hotel, Harrisburg. We are planning a variety of sponsorships, and welcome your support.
  • Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community May, 2019. Any amount you donate to sponsor this walk goes directly to programs. Form your own teams or join one of our teams. Be a sponsor and walk or be a sponsor and stay home-either is a wonderful support!
  • Family Fun Day Picnic! This annual event draws our Consumers out to a mega block party, in which we are a participant. We host bingo, a cake walk, and participate in face painting, and other activities. We help the organizers obtain other attractions such as an obstacle course designed for persons with Special Needs, food, bounce houses, and much more. Your sponsorship helps the one day event meet its $40,000 budget. Thousands of persons of all abilities (not just Special Needs but families, individuals, couples from all over Harrisburg) participate. Varied sponsorship levels will be available. 
  • Million Dollar Golf Outing September 16, 2019 (Sponsorships from $5,000 to $500. Most sponsorships also include complimentary foursomes, meals and much more. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we need everyone's help.)
Every Month:
  • Each month we host free programs for persons with Special Needs. Other area organizations have cut budgets and no longer offer evening programs. Our Arc Expression program is 100% volunteer, it is provided to persons with Special Needs at no charge, and occurs three Tuesday evenings a month. We need art supplies, volunteers, and an underwriter to ensure the program can continue at no cost for those who need it. One parent told us, "We are so thankful for this program. We looked all over town and there was nothing for Rebecca-everyone said they no longer can support such programs." Our Arc definitely supports this and we can because of wonderful volunteers-if your company has anyone who would like to volunteer on Tuesday nights, please let us know.
  • You can help our own civic club! That's right, our Aktion Club is a chapter of Kiwanis Club; "Aktion Club" is an international organization, we host the local chapter. Our fine citizens who also have Special Needs have their own civic club, they hold their own fund raisers, and they are philanthropic! They give to the Boys and Girls Club, food pantries, and numerous other charities. You can encourage them in their work by sponsoring at any level, which could help buy Aktion Club shirts and outerwear to wear at events, gas, food, and other expenses which are germane to any civic club.
  • First Friday of every month: The socialization event of the month! The Arc First Friday Dance for Special Needs persons 18 years and older is fun, exciting, and a way to learn social skills. We provide food, a DJ, and an opportunity to build confidence, and also exercise. Any amount is welcome, and helps us to keep on dancin'! 
  • Every Monday: Our SuperSix club is a group of wonderful people with Special Needs who get to become engaged in the community first hand. They go to museums, galleries, the local movies, tour factories, tour municipal departments (such as Harrisburg Police Dept.), businesses, and more. These folks become a part of the fabric of the community, and learn about the world around them. Any donation your company makes helps to pay gas, admission fees, food. You help "make the day" for Super Six. 
  • All School Year: Our Arc is approved by Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development to provide EITC educational programs for high school students who have Special Needs. We focus on horticulture and culinary skills. We are the only provider of such training in the area for persons with Special Needs. Does your company contribute to the EITC program? If you are approved by EITC/DCED to participate, then we welcome your donation to The Arc of Dauphin County under the EDUCATIONAL IMPROVEMENT ORGANIZATION status. If you are not approved by the Commonwealth to participate in EITC, I can help you set up your application, just give me a call! And, again, if you are approved, either as a first year or a second year business, let's talk!

We sincerely hope that we have given you some usable suggestions for a budget allocation that will support The Arc of Dauphin County, a 501(c)(3) operating in Dauphin County for 65 years; because of wonderful corporate and individual support, we have helped thousands of people through our many programs and services. The folks with whom we work that have Special Needs count on you for opening the world up to them.

Our programs and services are too numerous to detail here, but we can detail them for your consideration. We also have a nice packet of information that gives you very good insight into our offerings-it can be sent immediately by calling Craig George at 717.920.2727.

Upcoming Events

November 30, 2018
Jonathan's Rainbow

Author Eve J. Benner will be presenting her book Jonathan's Rainbow, which tells the story of her twenty year old son with Down Syndrome.

Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Fee:  Free   

December 4, 11
Arc Expression

You will learn to make art and crafts, you can explore your interests in everything from painting to creating beautiful things with ordinary, every day objects.

To register: call 717-920-2727 or send an e-mail to

Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Fee:  Free   

December 7, 2018
First Friday Dance 
Hosted by:  The Arc of Dauphin County

Location:  The Arc of Dauphin County, 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA
Time:  5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Fee:  $5   


Our Archivist needs photo albums in order to properly store photographs. Do you have any unused photo albums at home? We especially need ones that will hold 4x5 or 4x5 photographs. The easiest to use are the 8x10 or 8.5x11 "magnetic" sheet pages. We can take any amount- after all , we are archiving 65 years' worth of material! Please call Barb at 717.920.27827.  
Do you like organization?  The Arc of Dauphin County seeks energized, "want to make the world a better place" volunteers to help us with our many programs and services.  Even one day a month would be wonderful help!  Call Barb at 717.920.2727.
Your place to socialize and enjoy the music is The Arc of Dauphin County.  For nearly a decade we have been offering "First Friday Dances" complete with a DJ spinning your favorite tunes.  $5.00 covers entrance and hot dogs, cookies, soda, etc. (free to Charter Members of The Arc of Dauphin County). No reservation required.
Help support our friends with disabilities through our advocacy, education, consumer programs, life in the community/inclusion, and so much more!  Your gift ensures our non-profit can continue to provide the best services possible.  Our new Respite Center, now open and operating, will also benefit from your generosity.  Please e-mail Craig George at  or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.
If you are thinking long term, so are we!  Planning for the future, The Arc of Dauphin County will soon launch a Planned Giving program, which will allow our supporters who own a house or other real estate, who have paid up life insurance policies, or who would like to contribute to a trust or an Arc Endowment, as well as many other planned gift vehicles, to think long term with us.  Did you know without proper planning, the largest benefactor of your estate will be Uncle Sam?  Many planned gifts pass outside of probate from you to your loved ones and other beneficiaries, such as The Arc of Dauphin County.  For a confidential consultation, please e-mail Craig George at  or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

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