Supporting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families

November 20, 2017

The SCARC Foundation’s Annual Appeal

As temperatures fall into the crisp and chilly category and the leaves of autumn become prey for the blasts of leaf blowers, we find ourselves at the time of year when we are called on to count our blessings.  Some years, it’s harder to do that than others.  It’s been a particularly difficult year for individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and the organizations that provide critical supports.  They have seen significant change and erosion within the system of supports that they depend on, and looming threats to the funding for the lifelines that assure safe and healthy futures.

But they have seen blessings, too.  The SCARC family of services – SCARC, Inc, the SCARC Foundation, and SCARC Guardianship Services – perseveres in providing vital supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in Sussex County.  SCARC, Inc. maintains a county-wide presence including 23 group homes, 8 supported living apartments, and employment and day programs, such as the Harvest Home program which provides food to 700 needy families each month.   In addition, SCARC, Inc. provides recreation programs including summer camp, basketball, swimming, bowling, and dances, and respite care, which provides a much needed break for families who have a child with a disability.  SCARC Guardianship Services helps guide families through the legal process of becoming the legal guardian for their family member with a disability.  This year, SCARC will provide services to nearly 650 individuals with developmental disabilities.

In the words of Judy and Ken Dykstra, parents of James:

The SCARC organization has been a true blessing for our family. Our son James was born in 1991 with a rare syndrome called Wolf-Hirschhorn. Wolf-Hirschhorn is a genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body including the heart, kidneys and lungs, and it delays growth and development, impacts intellectual ability and can cause low muscle tone and seizures. Overwhelmed and confused we sought out help and direction from SCARC. SCARC offered our family respite and guided us to the programs that would be most beneficial for James. Throughout James’ life, we relied on SCARC for so many programs and services including summer camp, behavioral support, guardianship services, and a day program at the Clark Center. James attended the Clark Center daily for work and activities.

Each worker at the Clark Center is well trained, supportive and truly gave James a wonderful experience. Our son sadly passed away recently, but I will always be grateful for the SCARC services that our family received. James’ joyful personality affected all of the people he interacted with. He gave unconditional love and his contagious smile and his giggle made everyone laugh. Raising a child with special needs can sometimes be difficult but knowing there is an organization like SCARC that is by your side to help, whether it be to answer questions, or provide such amazing opportunities for people with disabilities makes life just a bit easier.

As you are counting your blessings this year, the SCARC Foundation asks that you consider contributing to their Annual Appeal. It is the mission of the SCARC Foundation to raise funds for SCARC, Inc and SCARC Guardianship Services.  Your gift of $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 – or whatever you can afford – will enable SCARC, Inc. and SCARC Guardianship Services to continue to provide and expand their programs to individuals with developmental disabilities in these challenging times.  Your donation is tax deductible and can be made via credit card online at https://www.firstgiving.com/24902/2017-scarc-foundation-annual-appeal.  Your commitment to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities will make a difference in their lives, and add to the blessings that they will be able to count as they gather with their family and friends this Thanksgiving Day.