Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric’s August Caring Community Giveaway has been awarded to an organization that is committed to serving some of Colorado’s 80,000 intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals – an often overlooked portion of society.
The Arc – Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties provides a voice for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) by advocating for their best interests. They are the latest recipient of the $1,000 Caring Community Giveaway that Applewood offers to nonprofits each month.
“We’re pleased to be a part of The Arc’s efforts to assist disabled individuals in our community,” said John Ward, Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric president. “This organization, though small, has had a big positive influence on so many individuals.”
“The organization was founded in 1961 by families who wanted their disabled children to have normal lives,” said Lori Ropa, executive director at The Arc – Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties. “Back in those days, it was typical for people with I/DD to be institutionalized.”
Today, rather than being separated from society, people with I/DD are able to contribute to their communities – with some help from 700 Arc chapters nationwide. Arc advocates work with disabled children and adults in situations where they lack the communication and processing skills to serve themselves.
“Our task is to help individuals with I/DD resolve all kinds of inquiries so they can live as comfortably as possible,” said Ropa. “Advocates work with schools and parents to mediate for the best interests of disabled children.”
The nine staff members at The Arc – Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties serve about 1,100 disabled Coloradans each year. The $1,000 Caring Community Giveaway will support The Arc’s ability to train and educate staff and help cover the costs of technological upgrades.