Keep Those Envelopes Coming!

Barb Bressler, Arc Professional Team Member with just one day's return from our Campaign For Best Lives.

They say "there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come."  Indeed--our "idea" is our Campaign For Best Lives (our annual fund drive).  The Campaign for Best Lives is the  fuel that drives our engine .

The Campaign raises funds, which go into our General Fund, which branches out throughout our organization to shore up everything we do. Payment for the Constant Contact e-newsletter software, for example, comes out of the General Fund, and thus helps us to stay in "constant contact" with our Consumers, their families, and philanthropists who support our programs and services. Without a General Fund a nonprofit cannot exist. Thank you for supporting our programs and services for those with Special Needs through your generous giving to the Campaign for Best Lives!

In late December, we sent our Campaign for Best Lives appeal letter out to our entire database. Included in the letter was a return envelope. Did you get yours? If not, we would love to send you one. Just call 717-920-2727 and asks for Barb Bressler (pictured above). Barb will cheerfully help you become an Arc supporter.

This year, we are introducing two new levels of support in addition to an existing level:

ARC COMPANION CIRCLE: A gift of any amount given monthly. You decide what that amount should be.

ARC FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE: A gift of $2,000 or more given each year as either a series of smaller gifts, or as one gift.

ARC MEMBERSHIP: This is our existing program. Anyone making a gift of $50.00 or more toward the Campaign for Best Lives is automatically an Arc of Dauphin County member. We have a short article elsewhere in this newsletter that mentions the additional thought of giving a membership as a Holiday Gift!

Our Consumers exhibit COURAGE to achieve, to advance, and to become a part of the fabric of the community. We express this as:

THEIR COURAGE + Our Programs and Services + YOUR SUPPORT

In our Campaign for Best Lives flyer, we show several quotes from Consumers' families and friends who champion our Arc, and our programs and services.  You can read all about achievements, see photos, and find a return envelope to provide your support.  Click here to read more about The Campaign for Best Lives.

Response to our Campaign mailing has overshadowed early responses from previous years. We attribute this in part to the "new look" or "refresh" we gave the Campaign, but largely the positive response is because THE COMMUNITY CARES! 

Thank you for caring about our wonderful friends who are striving every day to achieve. It is work, it takes courage, but they have you, the supporter, backing them up!

Remembering Signer of the ADA, President George H.W. Bush

President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990 at the White House

Consumers everywhere, NATIONWIDE, have benefitted tremendously due to an Act signed into law on July 26th back in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.

The 41st President of the United States of America, George Herbert Walker Bush, died on November 30, 2018 at the age of 94. In addition to being a World War II veteran, Congressman, Representative to the United Nations, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice President, President, and father of President George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush will always be known in the disability community as the President who signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA was signed after years of difficult negotiations between the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and the disability advocacy community. It was sweeping civil rights legislation, guaranteeing the rights of people with disabilities to access public services, commercial facilities open to the public, employment, and telecommunications, among other things. Nearly 30 years later, the ADA has withstood the test of time, prohibiting discrimination against people of all ages with multiple types of disabilities.

Several members of the Bush Administration are well known for their active involvement to get the ADA passed into law, including former Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh who was the U.S. Attorney General at the time, but it was President Bush's personal commitment and leadership to make the ADA a priority that got it done. At the White House signing ceremony, President Bush said "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down."

President Bush was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara, who passed away in April 2018. A short interview with President Bush about the ADA, produced in 2015, can be viewed here. An interesting article in "The Tennesseean" by a young girl with epilepsy who had an "excuse note" written for her teacher by President Bush so she could visit the White House and later had access made available to her everywhere-in effect helping her achieve an Every Day Life-by the ADA can be read here.

Give The Gift Of Membership

This holiday season, give a gift of membership to The Arc of Dauphin County to a loved one. Cross them off your gift list and help The Arc.
The membership includes newsletters, announcements, invitations to special events and the satisfaction of being part of our efforts to provide exemplary services and programs as well as push legislation that enables people with disabilities to live as independently as possible.

Any donation of $50 or more to any of our campaigns  automatically includes a membership.

Craig's Corner
A Message from our President and CEO

We will celebrate the 29th birthday of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) this July. This was a landmark piece of federal legislation that was "hard won" with a long and complicated process moving from concept to passage in both Houses. The Act is of enormous importance to The Arc of Dauphin County and our Consumers, and of course, Consumers nationwide, even worldwide. It ensures access and helps to pave the way for Every Day Lives.

Personally, I am involved in the Arc because of the ADA-we launched a major ADA project in my previous work prior to coming to The Arc of Dauphin County. The result of our ADA project was:
  • Instant
  • It was "right between the eyes" powerful--powerful impact
  • The project left an indelible lifelong imprint upon all of us 

We saw first-hand how the Act brought beauty and inspiration and moving emotion to an entire population of persons from all over the world who had disabilities related to mobility. This July, recognizing the birth of the Act, I'll reveal more about the watershed project, which launched my career in passionately working for those with Special Needs. This fall we thought intently about the Act because of President George H.W. Bush's dedication to its hard-won passage. Elsewhere in this newsletter is an article chronicling his passion for the Act. The title of the Act is also in keeping with one of the tenants of our Arc, "People First." The title's subject is "Americans!" The complete title is "Americans with Disabilities Act."

You can read President Bush's entire speech on the importance of the ADA here. In this article, we share just one short paragraph from his remarks that might be of interest to our readers: "This historic Act is the world's first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities -- the first. Its passage has made the United States the international leader on this human rights issue. Already, leaders of several other countries, including Sweden, Japan, the Soviet Union, and all 12 members of the EEC, have announced that they hope to enact now similar legislation."

The Arc of Dauphin County is a civil rights organization. We advocate for the civil rights of our constituents. Likewise, the ADA was landmark civil rights legislation.

Alarming!  Arc of Dauphin Co. Call to Action!

Speak up today (with your Senators) so that people with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) who want to live in the community can live with their family, friends and peers -- just like everyone else!

The U.S. House of Representatives easily passed the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) in a largely bipartisan effort on Tuesday, 12/11/18. Here at our Arc, we were celebrating, but there is more work to do as the bill moves to the Senate. Here is why this is important to our Consumers:

FOR CONSUMERS: The legislation provides short term funding for the Money Follows the Person program, which helps state Medicaid programs transition older adults and people with chronic illnesses back to their communities.

The act is a bipartisan package of Medicaid bills, which include new penalties for drug makers that overcharge the program and legislation aimed at improving care for children on Medicaid with complex medical conditions.

The Senate is NOW considering whether to pass the bill and send it to the President for his signature. Time is of the essence because Congress is slated to go on recess for the holidays in a few days.

What is Money Follows the Person?

In our world, Money Follows the Person (MFP) is an important program that has helped over 75,000 people (nationwide) with disabilities and chronic conditions voluntarily move from state-run institutions into the community.
Money Follows the Person expired in 2016, and with state programs now running out of funds this is already having consequences for people with disabilities. In its annual survey of state Medicaid directors, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that half of the directors planned to discontinue program services or administrative activities if Congress did not renew the MFP program's funding.
According to the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), " By renewing MFP for three months, the IMPROVE Act gives the program a needed bridge into the new Congress in 2019, when we can advocate for a longer renewal."  Read ANCOR's original letter of support, which helped to ensure Tuesday's successful House vote   here   (the letter will give you good background information on this issue.)
This has long been a mission of the Arc of Pennsylvania, our Arc chapter, and Arc chapters all over the commonwealth, as many of our readers know. We urge everyone: Please contact your U.S. Senator and urge them to pass the bill once it comes up for vote.

What YOU Can Do Right Now

Please take two minutes today to ask your U.S. Senators to complete the work begun by the House and vote to renew Money Follows the Person (MFP) program before this session ends!

The Ask: Email your Senators to ask them to vote YES on the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) through an expedited process known as "the hotline". The e-mail tool created by Ancor is a breeze to use--just a few clicks! Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph, and the tool will allow you to send an email directly to their health staff in Washington, D.C., who advises them on their decision-making.

The system set up by Ancor is very user friendly, and returns to you a confirmation e-mail. One of your Arc of Dauphin County staff members just sent in his advocacy e-mail on this issue, and received this message back from Ancor: "Your message for "Ask Senate to Expedite MFP Renewal Bill to the President Before the Holidays" was sent on 12/14/2018 12:57 PM to the following recipients: Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA)."

Speak up today so that people with I/DD who want to live in the community can live with their family, friends and peers -- just like everyone else!

Another helpful thing to do is to THANK your Representative for the bipartisan House approval on Tuesday. Please contact your U.S. Representatives and thank them for the house approval on the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217).

Tis the Season! Give Back While Shopping

Most of you are probably well into your holiday shopping. When shopping, if you log into Amazon at and choose the Arc of Dauphin County as your designated nonprofit, th e AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from eligible items to the Arc. Almost everything is eligible!  Start shopping today!

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.

Another Arc Chapter Suffers Great Loss

After writing last month about two of our sister Arc's Consumers being killed in the Pittsburgh shooting, another Arc has suffered great loss. Thankfully, though, not the loss of human life. 

The Arc of Butte County, California has been devastated by the California wild fire we've been reading about and seeing on the news. The Arc of Butte County's adult day center located in Paradise, CA was destroyed in the Camp Fire. Even worse, more than 40 Consumers were displaced from their homes and apartments, and 21 staff had their homes destroyed in the fire. The Arc of Butte County has set up a GoFundMe page to accept donations.

Our President, Craig George, contacted his counterpart out in Paradise, who tells us that besides GoFundMe donations, they would welcome household items of any kind.

You can bring donations by our Arc headquarters prior to January 17th and we will ship out every donation in one bulk shipment, which will help our colleagues and fellow Consumers in California start off the New Year with a positive experience.

Letter of the Month

We receive letters and messages of support for our mission from many of our wonderful friends who either align themselves with our mission to enhance the quality of life and community integration for individuals with special needs, or are families of Consumers or are Consumers themselves. From time to time we will share these wonderfully supportive letters as they make our day when they come in, and we are sure they will "make your day" too.

This note came in during our Giving Tuesday campaign shortly after Thanksgiving: 

"Dear Craig and Staff,

THANK YOU!  The work you do for your Consumers does not have an adequate price tag for gratitude.  Thank you for doing what you do so well for those that need your support.  You touch their lives as well  as mine!"
We are appreciative of all those who made special gifts on Giving Tuesday. Your good works are magnified  through successes our Consumers enjoy. We are most grateful.

Congratulations to our Official 2019 Newsletter Sponsor: Brown, Shultz, Sheridan & Fritz, aka "BSSF. "

BSSF promoted our Third Annual Million Dollar Golf Outing this fall by generously signing up to sponsor the ArcNews in 2019!

Upcoming Events

January 4, 2019

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   

January 8, 15, 2019

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   

February 1, 2019

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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