The Arc of Chester County, a human services nonprofit serving children and adults with disabilities, provided gifts to 96 individuals in need throughout the county this holiday season.
The Arc collected wish lists from individuals and families who receive services through the organization, and board members, staff members, and a few community volunteers assisted in collecting the gifts to distribute to those in need.
Also, longtime community volunteer Vicki Bayle, along with Compassionate Friends and Project Linus, donated toys and blankets.
“Without the generous support of the incredible Arc of Chester County community, we would not have been able to help as many individuals as were in need this year,” said Jeanne Meikrantz, The Arc’s Executive Director. “In addition to our staff and board, the continued support from these incredible organizations and volunteers continue to amaze us. We are grateful for their ongoing partnership and support of this initiative.”
The Arc has run its holiday gift program for several years, and it has grown each year.
In addition to gift-giving, The Arc collects food to be delivered to the West Chester Area Senior Center in January for its “Weather the Weather Food Drive.” While there is in an influx of food donations during the holidays, donations in January tend to be lower. By extending the collection of food into January and then delivering it later in the month, depleted supplies are replenished during a time of year when there is a need.
The West Chester Area Senior Center hopes to collect three tons of food for the annual drive.
The Arc also held a Breakfast with Santa event in early December that was attended by 150 people. For families unable to afford breakfast, members of The Arc’s board of directors and staff provided sponsorships to allow them to enjoy the festivities. The Rotary of the Upper Main Line donated its time and talents to provide the pancake breakfast.
“The Holiday Giving Program, Breakfast with Santa, and our food drive is an opportunity for The Arc to provide joy to families who might not otherwise be able to enjoy this season without help of their local community,” said Meikrantz. “We look forward to this season of giving each year.”