Campaign For Best Lives 2017

Our Campaign for Best Lives is our annual holiday fund raiser, and is a $50,000 budget line item. To get to that number--big for us--we count on every contribution we can receive no matter the size:  They all add up, and when we make that number, we know that we have ensured our Advocacy program and other consumer service programs will be alive and well in the next year.

Advocacy is important for a number of reasons. Since our founding 65 years ago, we set out to advocate for those who often (until that time) had nobody to speak out for them, had few people or organizations that would support achievement and community inclusion. We champion inclusion into the community and being part of the rich fabric of life within one's universe-especially for those with Special Needs.

Our Advocate, Kathy Gingrich, has served the Special Needs community through The Arc of Dauphin County for 18 years, and is going stronger than ever.  

If you receive one of our letters in the mail, you will have a chance to read this story, which explains the Advocate:

You plan a trip to Italy. You read all the books; you watch all the travel videos.  Your plane, however, does not land in Naples, it lands in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

You weren't prepared for Amsterdam, you were ready for Naples, Milan and all things Italian.  Still, The Netherlands is a beautiful country, but you were unprepared.  Where do you go, where do you stay?  Who can help you make connections, who can point you on your way?

So it is with a couple expecting a child.  Parents read all the books, they watch all the videos, they study. Their child is born with or develops an intellectual disability.   

This child is going to grow up to be a wonderful spirit, a beautiful person, but the parents are going to need extra help, new guidance.  Where do they turn?  Hospitals, educators, consultants and others usually recommend a resource that can be their "one stop" answer:  The Arc of Dauphin County's Advocate program.

You can give right now by going to our Website and clicking " DONATE" in the ribbon menu at the top of the page.  You will have the option to make an immediate tax deductible gift, or to set up a mini campaign with your own Web presence, and involve your friends and family (by clicking the FUNDRAISING button).

You can also call our office at 717-920-2727 and donate directly by credit card or check. 

Your deductible gift this year ensures that our Advocacy program is always there for those looking for answers.

Art Show Held Out at Capital

The 44th annual traveling Arc of Dauphin County art show (Our Art, Our Voice) was scheduled to end its Pennsylvania Capitol run this week, but due to popular demand has been HELD OVER for an extended stay. 

Those who want to see the exhibition at the East Wing of the Capitol will find it just across from the coffee bar, in the large room that has long fountains and water basins in the middle. 

Instead of closing this week, the exhibition will now close at the Capitol on January 7th, ending its 38-day run at the Capitol location.  On January 8th, the exhibition moves to Harrisburg International Airport.

We have had wonderful feedback from visitors and observers at the Capitol who tell us they see a constant trickle of one or two visitors to the exhibition all day long, augmented with the occasional large group of business people or students who are at the Capitol for other reasons and discover the exhibition.  

Many people have been voting for the Pennsylvania Capitol People's Choice Award.  It is easy to do, just pick your favorites and write down the exhibition number on the ballot provided, and drop it in the voting box.  Placing a vote at the Capitol itself, now that is fun!

December 2 through January 7th:  
Pennsylvania State Capitol Building  501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120 
January 8 through January 21st:  
Harrisburg International Airport 1 Terminal Drive, Middletown, PA 17057  (888) 235-9442  
January 23 through February 7th:  
Lebanon County Mall:  2231 Lebanon Valley Mall, Lebanon, PA 17042  (717) 274-2564     
February 9 through February 27:  
Gamut Theatre: 15 N 4th St, Harrisburg, PA 17101   (717) 238-4111
March 1 or 2 (Exact Date TBD) through March 19th:  
Selected Pieces will be on display at The Susquehanna Art Museum, 1401 N 3rd St. Harrisburg, PA 17102  (717) 233-8668

An exclusive Art Show Reception for our artists, their friends and families, supporters of the exhibition, the media and other interested parties will be announced soon for either a January or a February date.  If you would like to be certain you are on the invitation list, please send email to , or call Barbara B. at 717.920.2727.

Craig's Corner
A Message from our President and CEO

Our board and staff wish all our consumers, their families and friends and supports, all our families and volunteers, all the providers and agencies, all the government organizations, all the special agencies such as United Way, and all our friends at foundations and trusts, and all the philanthropists-everyone that works shoulder-to-shoulder with us to support our I/DD community--the most joyous holiday and New Year ever!

When thinking of the realm of support we have, we are indeed most grateful. In fact, we are humbled by your generosity, and so thankful that your gifts support the community of tremendous individuals who have Special Needs. Every day, we look for new ways to serve our consumers, and we try our hardest to "think outside the box."

This week, we began investigating a new service that we may be able to launch in 2019. We also look to our existing programs and recognize their importance. One program that is in the forefront of our minds this time of the year is our Advocacy program because our holiday giving campaign, "The Campaign for Best Lives" is in full swing. Your contribution to The Campaign for Best Lives helps support the Advocacy program, which you can read about elsewhere in this newsletter. No government agency supports our Advocacy program, so every dollar we receive is highly valued, is critical. Thank you for giving now, and enabling our Advocacy program to stay alive and relevant.

You can give right now by going to our Website,, click on  DONATE in the menu ribbon at the top of the page, and then when presented a list of options, pick the first one: Click DONATE NOW and you will be taken to a page that gives you two choices. Either a one-time outright donation or you can click the FUNDRAISING button and set up your own personal campaign. 

You can also mail in a check or call our office with a credit card. The advantage of the credit card, many folks find, is one can make a nice gift now and take a 2017 tax deduction, but pay it out in 2018 in the form of credit card payments.

Did you read in this issue how the 44th Arc of Dauphin County Art Show has been held over for an "extended run" at the Pennsylvania Capitol? 

Please go to the Capitol's East Wing and enjoy the art show in a spectacular setting, which is flush with architectural artistry. We've seen people sitting on the fountain wall, enjoying the expressive creations on our art panels, and at the same time, relaxing with water sounds. Truly, this is an exhibition whose time has come. We hope you get to enjoy it, and while there, don't forget to vote for your favorites!
The Miller's Minute:
Staying in Contact with your Special Needs Planner
by Michael Miller, ChSNC

Once you've gone through the trouble of meeting with a special needs planner and establishing an appropriate special needs plan, you might think that your planning is over.  After all, you've got a plan!  But as we all know, plans change, so it's important to stay in close contact with your special needs planner throughout your life.  In case you haven't thought of checking in with your special needs planner in a while, here are five events that should trigger an immediate call.

1) Your Family Member with Special Needs Is Turning 18

Once your family member hits the age of majority, you will no longer be able to make a lot of the decisions that you have probably been making for them during their childhood. Your special needs planner can discuss various options to help you through this transition, including the preparation of health care proxies and durable powers of attorney, if your family member is competent, or guardianship and conservatorship if they are not. But in no case should you simply ignore the problem.

2) You Move to Another State

Although some federal benefit programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) have national rules, there can be smaller details that apply at the state level. Likewise, there are usually significant variations in how state Medicaid programs are run. Therefore, if you move to another state, you have to speak with a special needs planner who is familiar with local rules and programs, and not just rely on your old plan.

3)Your Financial Situation Changes

If you were making a lot of money and now you aren't, or vice versa, your special needs plan is probably going to change. Assumptions about how to fund a special needs trust may go out the window. If your income becomes drastically lower, it may be time to consider using life insurance to fund a trust in place of other assets. On the other hand, if you are earning much more, you may have to consider tax planning strategies that you didn't have to worry about before. In either case, a call to your planner is definitely in order.

4) You Retire, Become Disabled or Pass Away

When the parent of a child who has had a disability that manifested while the child was still young retires, becomes disabled or dies, the child may qualify for benefits on the parent's work record. If you retire or become disabled yourself, call your planner immediately. Obviously, if a person who creates a special needs plan dies, there is going to be a lot of work to do to implement the next stages of that plan. 

5) The Person with Special Needs' Health Changes

Sometimes people who were previously ill get better and don't need a restrictive special needs plan. Often, they get worse and need additional planning. In all cases, if the beneficiary of your special needs plan dies, there will be a lot of work to do, including the potential payoff of government liens and the disposition of trust assets or the amendment of your special needs plan. Once again, if the beneficiary's health changes, your plan is going to have to change too. Your planner can walk you through all of the available options.    

Mr. Miller is a financial advisor with a designation to advise families with special needs individuals.  If you would like to discuss how to put a financial and legal plan in place for a loved one with special needs, please reach out through The Arc. 

Securities and Advisory Services are offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.  

Arc Crafters Create Gifts for Super Six

Pictured are the Arc Crafters, women out in the community (and on our staff) who get together at our Arc offices monthly to participate in their favorite craft/hobby--crochet.  At the suggestion of our President, they volunteered to use their artistic talents to create gifts for our Super Six consumers-they are modeling them in this photo.  Each consumer in Super Six will receive a beautiful scarf and hat, lovingly made by these ladies.

Speak Out! Celebration Coming in March
We have been making plans for the 2018 Speak Out! Celebration since last April, and we have a lot of fun things to offer this March, some of them new:
  • New Location: Speak Out! Is moving to The Premier Best Western, also known as The Central Hotel, Harrisburg. Located at 800 East Park Drive, just off Union Deposit Road, not far from Lowes and IHOP.

  • Chamber music beforehand 
  • A Fun Dance  
  • Terrific Speakers who will inspire you and champion what they have achieved  
  • The final showing of the 44th annual art show, "Our Art, Our Voice!"  
  • Terrific food in a beautiful location  
  • Save the date, March 25th, 2018. More details in the coming months   


This Christmas we are Supporting Veterans at the 
Robert Jackson Veteran's Center

Each year the Arc's team works to help another charity at Christmas time. This year we are providing Christmas gifts for residents at the Robert M. Jackson Veterans Center. 

The Robert M. Jackson Veterans Center, Inc. (RMJVC, Inc,) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2010 by Mr. Robert M. Jackson. The Center's mission is to assist homeless veterans in need of services and to develop a resilient, self-sufficient lifestyle essential to succeeding in today's environment.

We are providing the Center's residents gift cards to stores that provide necessities the veterans might need, and which are located on accessible bus routes. 

We are collecting gift cards (or cash donations to use to purchase gift cards) to Wal-Mart and Target. 

To contribute to the drive, please contact Celeste Martin at or call 717.920.2727 ext.102.

The AKTION Club Food Drive

The AKTION Club provides adults with disabilities an opportunity to serve their communities.  Until January 15 the Arc of Dauphin County's consumers in the AKTION Club are collecting canned goods for the Salvation Army Food Pantry.  

Please help us make this a successful drive!  

Bring your food donations to the Arc at 2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg 17103.

Our Holiday Hours

We will be closing Friday, December 22, 2017 at 11:30 A.M. and reopening Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 8:00 A.M.

The Staff at The Arc of Dauphin County Wishes You Very Happy and Safe Holidays!

Upcoming Events

January 5, 2017

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  

February, 2018  --  Watch for Future Announcement 

Valentine's Dinner and 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

Tickets:   Watch for Future Announcement 

March 25, 2018

Speak Out! Celebration

The celebration will be held at the Premier Best Western, 800 East Park Drive on March 25th.  Dinner, Dancing, Special Live Music, and Uplifting Program.  Note the new location!

Time:  3:30 P.M.

Tickets:  Watch for Announcement in January


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 new FOA (Friends of The Arc) program, filing, organizing our many closets of supplies, materials and other assets.  Even one day a month would be wonderful help!  Call Barb Bressler at 717.920.2727.

The "penthouse" level of our Respite Center Building (RCB) is becoming our Archive.  This beautiful space has its own independent heating and cooling system, it is very, very quiet on this floor, and you would be working on your own schedule to organize seven years of records.  The Archive will be divided into seven departments, and over time, the Archivist of The Arc will get all seven departments organized and searchable.  The Archivist candidate will need to pass FBI background checks, and other background checks.  Must also be able to lift a "banker's box" of files, and able to climb two flights of stairs to reach the Archive.  This is a very special volunteer opportunity for a very special person, and will remain open until filled.  For more information, please contact Craig George at , and specify in the subject line: ARCHIVES.

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)

The Arc of Dauphin County is Hiring!  E-mail to find out about any of the following opportunities:

CONSULTANT in the Positive Behavior Support Department.  A Bachelor's degree and certification/training in ABA techniques are requirements for this full-time temporary opportunity.
RESPITE CARE COUNSELOR - seeking one part-time person to provide support in our Respite program.  

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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