A Message from Chief Executive Officer
Jeanne Meikrantz
The Arc of Chester County is thrilled to welcome in the New Year. 2022 will be an exciting time for us as we create new beginnings and commemorate an enormous milestone!  In March, The Arc of Chester County will celebrate 70 years of advocating for the rights and supporting the needs of those with disabilities in Chester County and the surrounding communities. This is an important and significant achievement for us. Over the last seven decades, we have worked passionately to create a legacy of respect, dignity, and inclusion for individuals with disabilities. It has been a privilege to serve those entrusted in our care. We look forward to celebrating YOU, the individuals, and families, we have served and continue to serve as well as our supportive families, friends, and partners for being a part of our 70-year journey to ensuring those with disabilities enjoy the best quality of life.

We have exciting events and activities planned to commemorate this momentous occasion.  The celebrations will kick off at The Arc of Chester County’s Annual Bubble Walk & Fun Day taking place on Sunday, May 15, 2022. It is our hope that we can gather in person to walk and have fun in honor of our 70th Anniversary. We will continue to offer our virtual walk which has been well received these last few years and allows our friends near and far to join in our celebration. Stay tuned for more information on this event and other 70th Anniversary happenings.

As always, we thank you for standing by our side with friendship and encouragement. Your support has been vital. The Arc’s success and resiliency is a testament to all of you. Please enjoy this winter edition of the Around the Arc which includes helpful information and updates. Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming events and celebrations. Until then, be safe, be well.

With gratitude,
Jeanne Meikrantz
Chief Executive Officer
Arc Spotlight
WHERE: Friend's Home in Kennett
"I love working with my job coaches and everyone around me at work!" -Jaylen

Jaylen is a participant in The Arc of Chester County's Comprehensive Employment Services (CES) Program, which supports transition age youth (14-21) and adults with disabilities to find and maintain employment in their communities. The Arc’s CES program also works with businesses to employ, train, and supervise individuals to help them meet their job qualifications. Individuals entering The Arc’s CES program are matched with an Employment Training Specialist (ETS). Jaylen works with Patty Samms at The Arc of Chester County. She worked with him to complete a comprehensive assessment and then together they identified goals for Jaylen. Discussions about personal goals are integral to this process and drive the discovery phase. Then an individual career plan was developed and Patty provided one-on-one assistance with job searches, application submissions, job interviews, on-the-job training, and ongoing job coaching.

For Jaylen, he then started at the Friend's Home in Kennett. When we asked Jaylen's mom, Mindy, about the experience , she stated, "Jaylen often dances into and out of his work building, I think he likes it a lot!”

The Arc’s CES program fosters personal growth and self-advocacy for job seekers with disabilities to enjoy the same benefits that are available to typical employees, such as health insurance, employee assistance, and retirement benefits. In addition to these tangible benefits, participants gain a network of natural supports through their co-workers and peers, deepening their involvement in their community.
In the News
Better Care Better Jobs: New legislation that could allocate billions to people with disabilities.
This past November the The U. S. House of Representatives passed disability funding. This is an integral first step in promising new legislation that allocates a significant investment in the lives of people with disabilities and their families and the direct support workforce. The Better Care, Better Jobs Act is moving forward and we hope that it will be funded.

The Better Care Better Jobs Act allocates billions of dollars toward strengthening home and community-based services (HCBS), addressing disparities in access to these essential services, and elevating the quality of jobs for the direct care workers who provide them.

For years, the service system that people with intellectual and development disabilities and their families rely on, Medicaid, has been underfunded. Millions of adults and children all over the country are on waiting lists for HCBS. The direct care workforce is underpaid and undervalued. This leads to the quality of service suffering.

Better Care, Better Jobs expands access to services for people with disabilities on waiting list and starts addressing the direct care workforce crisis, including raising wages and creating more jobs.

If passed this important legislation will have a direct impact on many Pennsylvanians:
  •  It would provide HCBS to over 120,000 additional people in PA.
  •  It would create close to 20,000 new direct care jobs in PA.
  •  It would allow for over 40,000 PA family caregivers to return to work or secure new jobs.

The Arc of Chester County has been advocating to increase wages for our Direct Support Professionals for decades. We are hopeful that this legislation will pass so that we can continue to ensure that individuals with disabilities and their caregivers are able to live and thrive in our community.

Please continue to be on the lookout for opportunities to remind our Pennsylvania legislators that this essential funding is important to all members of the disability community. Or visit the ACTION CENTER to reach out to your local legislators right now. 
Inside the Arc
The Arc of Chester County is pleased to welcome a new member to the Senior Management Team!
Susan Vanscovich joined The Arc of Chester County in October as its Chief Development Officer. Susan brings over 30 years of progressive experience in the nonprofit and fundraising profession. She has been a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 2006 and holds a B.A. from Penn State, a M.Ed. from Temple, and a Doctorate from West Chester University.
The Arc of Chester County would like to congratulate two current team members on their new positions!
Shelby Hallman has been a standout Employment Training Specialist in The Arc of Chester County’s Comprehensive Employment Services (CES) program since May of 2018. The Arc is pleased to share that Shelby has been promoted to the Director of Comprehensive Employment Services. 
Rita Mandik has been on staff with The Arc since July of 2017 and a member of the senior management team since October 2019. She has recently been promoted to the Director of Human Resources. Rita brings great talent and knowledge about Arc programs and services. She will implement much needed creative and vital recruitment and retention strategies to The Arc.
Upcoming Events
Registration Opens February 15,2022. Sponsorships Available.

Developmental Disability Awareness Month
Be sure to follow The Arc of Chester County on social media as we celebrate and spread the word about promoting disABILITY awareness and inclusion.
Happy Birthday to The Arc of Chester County!
This March, The Arc of Chester County will celebrate 70 years of advocating and fighting for the rights and inclusion of individuals with disabilities and their families in Chester County and the surrounding communities. Please be on the lookout for information and special events throughout the year to help commemorate this significant milestone!
Ways to Give
Donors have many options when it comes to making gifts. The method of giving depends on both your financial situation and your philanthropic goals. The Arc of Chester County accepts:
Outright Gifts are gifts of cash, check, credit card, or from donor-advised funds (DAF) and/or pledges that are paid over a fixed number of years.
Appreciated Securities - in the form of stocks, bonds, securities, annuities, or other tangible property such as real estate, artwork, vehicles, etc. provide immediate support.
Bequests – in writing a will or living trust, where you specify The Arc of Chester County as the beneficiary of all or part of your estate can provide a legacy of your support.
IRAs & Qualified Retirement Plans – where you make a gift from your IRA or designate The Arc of Chester County as the beneficiary of your required minimum distribution or the remainder balance of any retirement fund.
Life Insurance – which is an economical way to give a larger and more lasting gift without drawing on your assets now or depleting your estate by designating The Arc of Chester County as the beneficiary of all or part of your life insurance.
Planned Gifts - such as Charitable Gift Annuities or Trusts which are partnership planned gifts that benefit you and The Arc of Chester County today and in the future.
Susan Vanscovich at 610-696-8090 Ext 202 or by email at svanscovich@arcofchestercounty.org to learn more.
Phone: 610-696-8090 Fax: 610-696-8300
900 Lawrence Drive, West Chester, PA 19380