One of the major programs of The Arc of Spokane is the Community Centers. Led by Christina Brelia, the Community Centers are “social and recreational activity centers for adults with developmental disabilities.” Christina is a graduate of Whitworth and a diehard Zags fan who has spent the last four and a half years with the Arc.
As I share my love of The Arc, I find that many people are unaware of the impact the Community Centers make in the lives of the members and their families. Combined, the Community Centers serve around 200 members. Members can attend daily sessions–a four-hour period–when members have full utilization of the centers and their programs. On a monthly basis, the members can enjoy being out in the community in a fun, entertaining, and inclusive environment. Activities range from bowling at Lilac Lanes and swim lessons at the Y, to fire house tours, fair exhibits, and ice skating. Providing a safe place for our members to engage with each other as well as our community, while imperative, is only half of the story. The centers also provide family members and guardians respite which allows them to remain employed, attend doctor’s appointments, and personal time. To see an inside peek at what goes on at the Community Centers, check out their Facebook page.
The Arc has partnered with many organizations to coordinate fund-raising, volunteering, and even speaking engagements on how to work with and employ people with an intellectual or developmental disability. Much of this work is done through the Community Engagement Project which is a consortium of educational organizations, non-profits and businesses that partner with The Arc to add value in the form of grants, donations, volunteering and so much more. If you’re interested in partnering with The Arc, I would love to give you more information and arrange a tour for you to meet the amazing people The Arc supports. Since our company first partnered with the Arc, we have gained increased exposure in the local community, a better understanding of the valuable contribution of those with developmental disabilities, and we’ve had a ton of fun.
The Community Centers have their hearts set on creating more opportunities for members to connect with the community–but they need your help! We are actively seeking organizations, professionals, or individuals that are willing to partner with The Arc of Spokane. Whether that partnership consists of teaching a class, hiring a member to your team, hosting a community project, volunteering, or even just making a donation.