As we begin the season of giving, we are asking you to consider making a donation to the 2016 Annual Appeal. Your commitment to people with developmental disabilities is making a difference and really changing lives.
Since 1985, the SCARC Foundation has been fulfilling the ongoing needs of SCARC and SCARC Guardianship Services. Today with your help, the SCARC family of services is able to provide recreation programs including summer camp experiences, basketball, swimming, bowling and dances; respite care which provides a much needed break for families who have a child with a disability; and guardianship services which helps guide families through the legal process of becoming the legal guardian for their disabled family member. In addition, SCARC provides a county-wide network of 23 residential homes, 8 supportive living apartments, 7 employment and activity day programs including the Harvest Home program which provides food to 700 families in need each month, and many family support services. This year, SCARC will provide services to nearly 650 people with developmental disabilities.
For our family, the SCARC organization has been a true blessing. Our daughter Erica who is 16 years old, has been attending SCARC's Just-Us-Kids program for the past 10 years. The Just-Us-Kids Saturday program is one type of Family Support Services provided by SCARC. The program is for children ages 5-15 and provides relief for families and parents from the stresses of having a child with disabilities. It provides engaging and exciting activities each week in order to make it fun and enjoyable for each child and is designed to maintain skill development and interest levels for each participant. Now that Erica is 16, she will soon be participating in SCARC's Saturday evening Teen Scene program. In Teen Scene, the participants meet weekly and engage in fun teen-appropriate activities.
Erica is non-verbal but each week she signs that she wants to go and play with her friends at SCARC. She loves the Just-Us-Kids program so much that she never wants to leave. The staff are truly amazing, they make each child feel special and are always professional. Not only does Erica enjoy all of the activities and the kids, she truly loves every staff member. It is comforting as a parent to know that Erica is in such wonderful hands and that she is being cared for by compassionate, well-trained individuals. The program gives Erica the opportunity to take part in an activity with her peers, just like her siblings.
This year Erica was fortunate to have participated in the SCARC Summer Experience Camp for the first time. This is a 2-week day camp that SCARC provides for teens and young adults with special needs. This camp provided Erica the ability to spend two weeks doing a variety of activities such as Camel Beach, Medieval Times, rafting down the Delaware, Liberty Science Center and Dorney Park just to name a few. Summers can been tough for parents of special needs children, and this camp was a wonderful experience for Erica. She was able to make new friends and enjoyed the experience so much that she can't wait to go again next year!
Raising a child with special needs can sometimes be difficult but knowing there is an organization like SCARC that is by your side to help whether it be to answer questions or provide such amazing opportunities for kids and adults with disabilities makes like just a bit easier.
We are fortunate to have in our community an organization like SCARC and the services it has developed. Despite the great strides, they need your help! We hope you will consider a gift to the SCARC Foundation Annual Appeal of $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 --- or whatever you can afford. The money raised will enable SCARC and SCARC Guardianship Services to continue to provide and expand their programs to children and adults who need them. Also, keep in mind that your donation is tax deductible and can be made via credit card online at http://annualappeal2016.kintera.org.
On behalf of The SCARC Foundation, we wish you and your families a safe, healthy and peaceful holiday season. As we celebrate our blessings this holiday season, let us remember that we will find that the greatest gift is in giving.
The Blandina Family