A Special Note from our President and CEO

The Campaign For Best Lives continues this month, January. We are grateful for the wonderful gifts we have received to keep our Advocacy Service moving forward for our consumers and their families. Many of our readers responded to our "annual appeal" request, and many enclosed special notes of support. 

The "family" of support runs deep. It is especially telling to all of us to see families coming together to support the work of our Arc. A good example of this is two sisters and a former Arc team colleague of our Advocate, Kathy Gingerich, who penned these notes:

"Thank you for highlighting my sister, Kathy Gingerich this year. I know how hard she works and how much she cares as she advocates for all 'her' children and adults."

"Kathy Gingerich is my sister and my hero!"

"This donation is given in honor of Kathy Gingerich, from Arc employee 1993 to 2000."

It is heartwarming to see these three and many, many more who are supporting Kathy's work, especially since our Arc provides her services at no charge and we receive no reimbursement from government sources.

Thank you from the entire Arc Family to everyone who has teamed with The Arc of Dauphin County to advocate for our Advocate, Kathy Gingerich-- and through her, has supported our Arc's advocacy for Dauphin County constituents.

Our Art, Our Voice Continues to "Travel"

After an extended 39-day run at the Pennsylvania Capitol, Our Art, Our Voice! moved to Harrisburg International Airport (HIA), and as of this date has moved again to Lebanon Valley Mall, where many of our consumers stopped by the day of installation to enjoy the talent of artists with Special Needs.  

Regarding the recent display at HIA, Marie Byers, Manager of Business Relationships said, "We immediately realized the importance of this art show, and that it could resonate with travelers as they journey to and from their destinations. Even as the exhibition was 'going up', we had travelers stopping to enjoy the creativity of artists of all ages who also happen to live with special needs. We are proud to be a supporter of Our Art, Our Voice!, and look forward to hosting again next year." 

Arc Team members work on one of six installations at Harrisburg International Airport

Readers can catch the exhibition's current installation at Lebanon Valley Mall, and then at the Gamut Theatre on February 9th. Following the Gamut Theatre, portions of the exhibition will be displayed at the Susquehanna Art Museum downtown, and then the entire show will end at the Central Hotel Harrisburg, just off Union Deposit Road on Park Drive. (See full schedule below)

Our Art, Our Voice! at Lebanon Valley Mall in the fountain area

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 2 through March 19th:  
Selected Pieces will be on display at The Susquehanna Art Museum, 1401 N 3rd St. Harrisburg, PA 17102  (717) 233-8668
March 20 through March 25th:  
The Central Hotel, Harrisburg (Best Western Premier). 
800 East Park Drive, PA 17111  (717) 561-2800

Save the Date for Speak Out!
Mark your calendar now for this year's Speak Out! Celebration, which will be held on March 25th at the beautiful Central Hotel Harrisburg (Premier Best Western).  

This is a new location for us.  The address is 800 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17111 ( www.theCentralHotelHarrisburg.com).  

We are planning the event now; it promises to be a wonderful afternoon with a delicious luncheon, terrific speakers, chamber music beforehand and a fun dance afterwards.  Watch for more details in the coming month.

35th Annual Speak Out! Celebration 2017

Craig's Corner
A Message from our President and CEO

Happy New Year 2018!  Here at the office, we have been looking back over all of The Arc of Dauphin County activity and accomplishments of the past year, and when we do that we are humbled by the remarkable effort, time and talent, and especially all the dedication that exists in our community of support.  Our donors and philanthropists who support The Arc of Dauphin County are essential to the service we provide.  From foundations and trusts to individual donations - every contribution of time, talent and finance makes a tremendous difference in creating the best life possible for consumers.  Truly, we are humbled by the generosity of those who support our work.  Thank you!

T oday, we highlight the support given to The Arc of Dauphin County by the Kiwanis Club of Harrisburg and the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation.  As we celebrate our 65th anniversary, the Kiwanis Club of Harrisburg is celebrating its centennial-100 years strong!   For many decades the Kiwanis Club has supported our Arc's Aktion Club, which  has earned recognition from Dauphin County's MH/ID unit, ODP, and DHS for its strong role in local community integration and involvement.   The mission:  To provide adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative, leadership skills and to serve their communities.

Our Aktion Club hosts fundraisers and is philanthropic-they support The Boys and Girls Clubs, The Food Bank, and more.   Interested in joining?  Our Aktion Club meets the first Tuesday of each month. Please contact Joe Martin at jmartin@arcofdc.org or call 717.920.2727.

Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will find an article from a blog I read often, as it is one of the best ways to keep up with all the various disability awareness "months" and "observances" authorized by national entities.  The current 2018 list we provide has clickable links to take you to the Websites of the various initiatives.  As we all work to advocate for our cause, it is helpful to see who also champions special needs initiatives.   

Thank you for reading our newsletter.  Don't forget our annual Valentine's Dinner and Dance!  You can see the details in the Upcoming Events section of this newsletter; you can also write to Ken Seeger ( kseeger@arcofdc.org) or Joe Martin ( jmartin@arcofdc.org) or call 717.920.2727 for more information.


Express your Inner Artisan!

Come have fun with crafts and art-it's all about self-expression, learning or improving a skill and socializing, making friends!

Arc Expression meets every Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 beginning February 13th. All you need to do is call or
e-mail The Arc and reserve your place.

There is currently no fee to participate, and all materials are provided.

Led by our own Lindsey Christie and other volunteers who join the effort, this is all about fun, making friends, and making beautiful crafts, such as the flower shown below. Would you believe it? It is made from normal paper coffee filters. Wow!

Come join the fun! Call 717.920.2727 to reserve your spot or e-mail bbressler@arcofdc.org!

The Miller's Minute:
Changes Implemented by the New Tax Cuts Law
by Michael Miller, ChSNC

Families taking advantage of ABLE savings accounts will have a little more flexibility in planning for special needs as a result of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017.

As we previously discussed, ABLE accounts, created by Congress via the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014, allow people with disabilities and their families to save for disability related expenses, while maintaining eligibility for Medicaid and other means-tested public benefits programs.

Currently, people can contribute up to $15,000.00 annually into qualified ABLE accounts. A provision in the new tax law allows families who have saved money in 529 savings accounts to roll over up to $15,000 each year from a 529 account to an ABLE account. 

The 529 account must be for the same beneficiary as the ABLE account or for a member of the same family as the ABLE account holder. Also as part of the new tax bill, while 529 accounts could previously only cover costs for college, they can now pay for a child's K-12 education in a public, private or religious school.

The tax bill also includes changes to benefit ABLE account beneficiaries earning income from employment. These individuals will be able to make ABLE contributions above the $15,000 annual cap from their own income up to the Federal Poverty Level, which is currently $11,770 for a single individual, provided they do not participate in their employer's retirement plan. This change was previously proposed in legislation known as the ABLE to Work Act.

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities previously voiced opposition to this revision, on the basis that if not properly implemented, it could increase the beneficiaries' vulnerability to losing public benefits and pose major administrative burdens. 

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 schedule a brief phone consultation by going to Book With Mike

You may also visit his Special Needs Planning page online at SpecialNeedsAnswers.

In addition, may connect with me through LinkedIn where he will post information about past and upcoming activities in Central Pennsylvania.

Meet Our New Team Member

This month we welcome Joanne Padmore to our team.

Joanne will be working in our Rep Payee Department, helping some of our constituents with their monthly finances.

Joanne is on a six-month assignment to The Arc of Dauphin County from her employer, and we are thrilled to have her with us during that time!

We have been providing Rep Payee services to our community since 2006.

2018 Disability Awareness Month and Observances

Provided courtesy of the Special Needs Resources Blog, here is a year-round calendar of many Disability Awareness Months and Observances. 
In October, during eleven awareness campaigns, The Arc of Dauphin County launched our acclaimed art exhibition, Our Art, Our Voice, which celebrates the art of Special Needs Artists.
The traveling exhibition continues through several months of various recognitions and will conclude at the end of March during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. 
Please review our list of awareness campaigns; most have links for added information.  If you are aware of an observance we have omitted, please let Craig George know at cgeorge@arcofdc.org.

Annual awareness campaigns are sponsored by federal, health and non-profit organizations in order to serve and educate.  The activities range from one day to a month.
Most Websites shown include awareness toolkits, promotional materials and fact sheets (since it is still early in the year, some of the campaigns still have 2017 details on their Websites).







  • Disability Pride Month (NY)
  • July 12- Disability Awareness Day (UK)
  • July 16- Disability (ADA) Awareness Day
  • National Fragile X Awareness Day



Upcoming Events

February 2, 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  

February 13, 2018

Arc Expression: Express Your Inner Artisan

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

Future Dates : Feb 20,27, March 6,13,20, 27

February 14, 2018  

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:  $18.00

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:  Call Barb at 717.920.2727 or email bbressler@arcofdc.org


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 cgeorge@arcofdc.org , 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  hr@arcofdc.org 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   cgeorge@arcofdc.org , 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 cgeorge@arcofdc.org or call the main switchboard at 717.920.2727.

Visit us at www.arcofdc.org.