The Arc of Atlantic County is a leading provider of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through direct services, advocacy, education, and prevention activities, the organization works in partnership with individuals and their families to make choices possible about how and where they live, learn, play, and work. Borgata is thrilled to support The Arc of Atlantic County and their mission this holiday with a donation of ten $100 grocery gift cards to support their clients to help them continue to live independently. We spoke with Mary Ruley Moyer, Director of Development and Community Outreach at The Arc of Atlantic County, to find out more about the great work that the organization is doing in the community.
Give us a broad overview of what your organization does and how it helps the public? The Arc of Atlantic County provides support and services to l,000 people in Southern New Jersey living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Our mission is to improve the lives of people with I/DD in our community. Through direct services, advocacy, education and prevention activities, we work in partnership with individuals and their families to make choices possible about how and where they live, learn, play and work.
How has the current Covid health crisis impacted those that rely on your organization for support? Throughout the public health emergency, our most crucial services have operated ‘business as usual’ providing care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This could not have been done without the dedication and commitment of our Direct Support Professionals (DSP). When many in our community were staying home or working from home, every day, our devoted DSP’s were leaving the safety of their homes and risking their own health, to provide service and support to the people and families who rely on their work. As essential workers, these heroes deserve our recognition, admiration, and thanks. Our Day Habilitation Center offers people with I/DD the opportunity to engage in community and center-based activities that allow them to develop socialization skills, build friendships and make community connections. Sadly, we have not been able to offer this service due to the social distancing limits put on the amount of people who are permitted to gather in a single space.
How will Borgata’s current holiday gift help you serve your constituents? Each year, we hold our “Holiday Partners” project, and receive letters of interest from people/families who have a financial need, asking for assistance to help purchase holiday gifts and food to ensure their holidays are a little brighter. This year, 150 people were impacted, receiving Walmart Gift Cards so they could do their holiday shopping from the safety of their home or limiting contact as needed. Borgata has been a generous community partner in past years to the Holiday Partners Project, providing financial resources, as well as in-kind items to people in our services. Borgata’s talented chefs have even provided delicious holiday cookies and other sweet treats!
For those who are reading about your organization and want to help, what can they do or donate? What would be the most useful ways to contribute? We have several ways that people can help: they can make a donation; they can donate to our Holiday Partners Project; or they can purchase a Remarcable Raffle Ticket. They can also shop The Arc Makes Cents Thrift Shops in Egg Harbor Township and Ventnor, send Hope Notes to people in our residential service, or become a Member and stay up to date on advocacy efforts and information
What is your favorite holiday tradition? My favorite holiday tradition is the gift of spending time with my husband and family, enjoying simple pleasures of the holidays like baking cookies, listening to music and enjoying Christmas lights and decorations!
For more information about The Arc, or to learn how to get involved, please visit www.thearcatlantic.org.