Carlisle Rotary’s 2020 Auction Beneficiary is CPARC
 
The Rotary Club of Carlisle and the Rotary Club of Carlisle-Sunrise will host their annual holiday dinner and auction on Friday, December 4th at the Comfort Suites in Carlisle. If the dinner is cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus the auction will be conducted online. The proceeds from this year’s auction will benefit the Arc of Cumberland & Perry Counties (CPARC). But, what exactly does CPARC do?
 
Simply stated, the mission of CPARC is to provide support, training, and opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities and their families. CPARC is a non-profit agency that empowers people to achieve their highest level of independence and become contributing, responsible and proud members of society. The organization works to educate the public and to inspire public policy, and promotes the realization of a fulfilled life for all people. It provides Advocacy Services, Residential Services, Vocational Training and Rehabilitation, Adult Day Care and Child Care Services.
 
Bryan lives with two housemates in a CPARC home in Churchtown. “My parents cannot take care of me because they are older,” he says. “But I have a lot of friends with CPARC staff and clients.”   One of Bryan’s favorite things to do is ride roller coasters. He laughs and screams while hurtling down the rails and whipping around corners on coasters at Hershey Park.  “I like to fly,” he chuckles, “and I like to laugh.”
Individuals and families need help – and that’s what CPARC is here to do.
Just 50 short years ago, people with disabilities were living in institutional settings. At that time, the only option for parents of a child with a disability was to place their child in a state institution.  Children and adults with disabilities were systematically denied educational opportunities, jobs, housing…rights that a person without a disability took for granted.  These facts drove a group of concerned parents to create CPARC in 1953. They wanted to offer an alternative to institutionalization for their children with special needs.  Now folks – like Bryan – are living their best lives in their community. “CPARC helps us grow and grow and grow, like a flower,” Bryan says.
 
Helping people live happy, healthy lives in the community drives CPARC’s work!
Over 110 residents live in CPARC Residential Services, which include apartments and group homes in Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties. More than 40% of our residents are over the age of 60.  As folks age, staff are there to help meet their health/safety needs and preserve their dignity – like John. A kind and quiet man, John’s deep laugh can brighten your day. 
 
For years, John lived in a CPARC apartment in Mechanicsburg. After recovering from a stroke in 2019, John moved to a CPARC home in Harrisburg earlier this year. Here, he gets round-the-clock care.
John’s settling into the new rhythm of life in his home. He still enjoys life’s simple pleasures – like a steaming mug of coffee in the morning. Because of supporters like you, John has the care he needs and independence he craves.
People with intellectual disabilities have a safe place to live at CPARC, and services that encourage them to grow.
You help people, like my son, feel self-sufficient,” one mother says.
Advocates help adults and families’ access community and school-based services at no charge. They work hard to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same rights, opportunities, and privileges as people without disabilities.
Community Fusion connects adults to volunteer experiences they’re passionate about – like “Ani-meals.” This metal recycling project raises money for pet owners who struggle to care for their beloved companions.
Life Time Adult Day Care keeps older folks (who don’t require around-the-clock-care) active and safe. Folks like Anita enjoy daily activities that include musical performances, pet therapy, table games, and gardening.
 
The Center for Industrial Training (CIT) helps folks – like Becky – develop vocational skills to secure a job. Becky’s an essential worker at Weis Markets who takes pride in delivering excellent customer service. “I keep things organized in the frozen food and dairy sections,” she says. Becky continues to work at Weis throughout the COVID-19 crisis. “Becky being able to work on her own is all because of CPARC,” her father says.
CIT partners with companies in the community to complete jobs (such as collating; poly bagging; shrink-wrapping; display and promotion packaging; hand assembly and labeling). On-site programs offer trainees a transitional stage between facility-based and community employment. Trainees have real world experiences at community businesses, such as Wal-Mart and at Messiah and Dickinson Colleges. As skills are mastered, the trainee can receive help to locate a suitable, competitive job in the community. For individuals ready for competitive employment, CIT offers placement services and long-term support. Staff help the trainee apply, interview, secure and maintain employment in the community. Long term follow-up ensures satisfaction of the employer and the employee.
Another key component of CPARC is advocacy! At no charge, CPARC helps individuals and families access community and school-based services. Advocates work with the family and the school to get an individualized education plan (IEP) in place. They provide resources about the adult intellectual disability service system and can help parents access legal resources and communicate with legal and medical professionals.
 
Rotary supporters give hope, and ensure that lifetimes of opportunities are available to people with disabilities.
To learn more about CPARC, visit www.cparc.org or call (717) 249-2611.
 
The auction campaign will officially kick-off in October.
To be a sponsor (Platinum - $1,000, Gold - $500, Silver - $250, Bronze - $100) or to donate an item for the auction contact the auction chair, Bill Blankmeyer at blankmeyer66@comcast.net or call (717) 590-7229.