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After a full calendar year in some degree of lockdown, things are starting to look up. Vaccines are getting distributed, case numbers are dropping and the Bay Area is beginning to “open” — blooming again with the many activities our communities enjoy.
But not everyone has the same access to joy, and it’s crucial we remember individuals who may need a good time more than ever, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. That’s where The Arc San Francisco offers a solution.
A nonprofit serving San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties, The Arc was founded 70 years ago by a group of parents looking to address the lack of enrichment for students and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since then, it has evolved to provide support and resources to pursue goals of education, employment and/or personal independence.
The Arc’s services benefit more than 850 people with such disabilities as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. But like thousands of other businesses and organizations, in-person programs at The Arc’s Howard Street facility in San Francisco have been suspended during the pandemic.
March 11 marks the 19th anniversary of The Arc SF’s Annual Breakfast, a fundraiser and communal meal that typically includes special guests, an awards ceremony and advocacy discussions — and this year it’s going virtual.
“Our community is resilient, and we are proud to provide a platform to amplify the voices of people with disabilities as we keep striving for disability justice,” said The Arc SF Executive Director Kristen Pedersen in a news release.
Instead of meeting face-to-face, sponsors will receive curated breakfast kits that contain recipes and the required ingredients needed to make a tasty meal — there’s even mimosas for those of age.
And for all participants, The Arc has curated a program of music, videos, tributes and awards will start at 8:30 a.m., and entertainment will include a virtual appearance by Josie Totah, an activist, Arc ally and actress in the upcoming “Saved by the Bell” reboot.
Donations help keep The Arc lights on and programs running to provide communities in San Francisco and beyond with career development and internship placement, residential skills training, one-on-one mentorship and health advocacy for participants with chronic conditions.