The Arc of Orange has become a medicaid business, primarily. They provide medicaid services, which they bill medicaid for and pay their salaries. They do little for the handicapped. They appear to do little fundraising. By maintaining their tax free status as a nonprofit, they avoid the appropriate business taxes.
The Arc of Orange is highly dedicated to improving the lives of a highly vulnerable and often "invisible" group of people--children and adults with intellectual disabilities. In helping these individuals the Arc of Orange not only provides stimulating activities but also needed relief to their care-givers. In addition, by bringing disabled people out into the community for their activities (e.g., volunteer work and play) they make us aware of their value and dignity. Even if people with intellectual disabilities cannot always express themselves fully, they are equal members of our community.
My wife and I have 3 special needs children. We relocated from another state to the Chapel Hill area of North Carolina 12 years ago. We did some internet research and made some phone calls and decided that the Orange County area was the best choice for us.
At first we used the services of another organization to help us with our kids. While the other care organization had great employees, their community inclusion and employee retention was lacking. After a few years, we made the decision to change care providers to the ARC of Orange County. The ARC and it's employees go out of their way to ensure that our kids have social activities and a life outside of their rigorous therapy routines.
In addition, they give my wife and I something that is more precious than gold...Time away from our kids without the constant voice in the back of our heads that says "I wonder if the kids are alright?" We know that the workers are not only responsible ones that do what is required, but loving ones that have a personal interest in their well being.
The ARC offers support to help the kids with daily life skills such as personal care. They also work on community goals such as riding a bus, crossing a street and going to the library.
Separately they provide respite services (IE time away from your kids) My wife and I have a semi-regular night out where we can go to dinner and a movie. 12 years ago this was nothing more than a fantasy.
While we always had a small amount of family and friend support with our kids prior to signing up with the ARC, we never could have imagined the type and quality of assistance we now receive.
I HIGHLY recommend the ARC to other families who are struggling with special needs kids.
If not for the ARC of Orange County my son would not be able to live in the community. They saved him from lifge in an institution! Their care and concern for him as a person is beyond measure.
I've never had the pleasure to work with an organization as supportive and influential in the community as the Arc of Orange County. I am currently a second year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and I got involved with the Arc as a Community Partner less than a year ago.
The staff worked to place me with a compatible family and child. I worked with a 10 year old boy once a week. We often hiked, took rides in the car, listened to music, sang, and laughed. I never would have met this amazing little boy or his incredible family if it weren't for the Arc of Orange County. This family and child have taught me so much about persistence, perseverance, and faith in life.
This is an incredible organization with dedicated staff, volunteers, and clients. They work hard to suit the needs of those they serve as well as those who have chosen to serve this organization through community service. I would recommend volunteering for this organization to anyone who wants to meet great people, learn about themselves, and shed light on the social issue of disability in our community.
I have had a great experience working with Arc of Orange County. The volunteer coordinator, Susan Chandler, does such a nice job of keeping up with volunteers and our experiences. Currently I am a part of the community connections program, and am extremely happy with the communication that has happened between myself, the family of the individual(my new friend), and Susan. We are allowed flexibility and given great support and encouragement. This experience has benefited both myself and my new friend by allowing us to have the opportunity to hang out once or twice a month and do something fun. We are able to learn from each other, laugh, and participate in fun activities. It's been such a blessing to have the Arc of Orange County in my life, and I am impressed with the services and support given by full time staff, and humbled by the appreciation I see in the families and volunteers who benefit from their services.