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Review for The Arc of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

The Arc of San Francisco is one of those non-profits that is quietly doing some of the best social work in the city. But as someone who has been a donor to them for years, I have gotten to know their work quite personally. The Arc helps people with developmental disabilities with all types of programs and services. And I know for a fact that other agencies around the country look to model their services after The Arc of San Francisco. They are truly pioneers, as this was the first agency to help adults with developmental disabilities to gain employment. The Arc also works one-on-one to help people like independently and function in their community. If you see an adult with autism on the MUNI, that person is likely accompanied by a trained staff person from The Arc. Affordable housing, health care, advocacy, socialization ... all of these areas are covered through services from The Arc of San Francisco. I am rating The Arc of San Francisco with 5 stars, and I put my money where my mouth is. I am one of their Arc Angels ... people who make a multi-year commitment to donate $1,000 or more a year. By no means am I wealthy, as I am squarely in the 35-44 age range. But I can go down to 1500 Howard Street anytime to "kick the tires" on my donation and see the great work they do.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

organize marches on City Hall and the Capitol every day to remind elected officials that they are shirking their responsibility when it comes to helping adults with developmental disabilities.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that it makes me more compassionate about people and their differences. It has changed me a great deal.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

people who carried a unique blend of professionalism, caring, and understanding. It takes a great deal of patience to work with adults with developmental disabilities, and I have enormous respect for those who dedicated their lives to this.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help more people. It's as simple as that. And they would do it right, too. Look at their tax returns (public record) and you'll see that they are very lean, little overhead, and provide quality services. Anyone have 10 million bucks?

Ways to make it better...

I knew that the clients there had all they need. There are certain things that, due to money, The Arc can't do. I suppose it's the nature of non-profits.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

related to getting noticed in the public. Like I said, The Arc is "quietly" being a best-in-class non-profit. The people they serve do not get a lot of attention like other "special populations" ... like the homeless, children ... or issues like global warming. But more and more kids are growing up with autism, and we need to take notice as a society.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Donor & I am a long-time donor.