Ideas Of Things To Do At Home

We are going on eight weeks of being at home during this COVID-19 social distancing time. As the state of Texas begins to reopen, here is a video sharing ideas of activities you can be do to keep busy.  

We would love to hear from you! Please share with us what you have been doing to stay busy at
home either through our Facebook page or email as at info@thearcofkaty.org

Greyboy The Goose

We love a great story and this is one you won’t want to miss! This all started eight years ago while Marilyn Smythe, an instructor with The Arc of Katy, and her husband were on a walk with their granddaughter. Check out the videos below to learn more about this beloved goose Greyboy and how he quickly became part of the neighborhood family.

The Arc Helps Katy Bloom

The Arc of Katy is proud to be featured in the May 7 edition of Katy Times by R. Hans Miller, Times Senior Reporter.

The Arc of Katy held a flower sale April 30 and May 1 to raise funds for the nonprofit, Arc of Katy Board Member Amy Campbell said. The local nonprofit, which offers social activities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, raised $3,000 through sales and another $800 through financial donations at the event.

The Arc of Katy held a flower sale April 30 and May 1 to raise funds for the nonprofit, Arc of Katy Board Member Amy Campbell said. The local nonprofit, which offers social activities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, raised $3,000 through sales and another $800 through financial donations at the event.

“We ordered 1,000 Geraniums with the hopes that we could really put it out there and sell them,” Campbell said. “We sold 930 of them the first day. The next day we had 70 left and we sold those in 18 minutes.”

The community came together to help the Arc of Katy in multiple ways, Campbell said. First, there were the community members that bought the flowers and the volunteers for The Arc that ran the flower sale. Second, the Katy Elks Lodge #2628 provided another volunteer, chairs and tents to facilitate the event.

The Arc of Katy’s clients did not participate because of health concerns, Campbell said.

“We didn’t ask them to participate only because of the social distancing and sometimes they’re in the compromised group of people,” Campbell said.

The idea for the event came after Campbell spoke with her sister, Randye McAnally, who runs Fredericksburg Farms with her husband Steve McAnally. The nursery usually sells Geraniums for school fundraisers. Most of the fundraisers the thousands of plants raised at the nursery were going to go unused, so Campbell worked out a deal with her sister to raise funds for The Arc of Katy instead.

The 1,000 Geraniums were sold for $8 a piece with $5 going toward the grower’s business to keep it going and $3 going to the nonprofit, Campbell said. Between the profit from the flowers and about $800 received in financial donations, the total proceeds for last week’s event was $3,800, Campbell said.

Campbell said that, while the nonprofit is not currently hosting in-person events for its program participants, it is partnering with area organizations to provide activities for participants. The Harris County staff at Mary Jo Peckham Park have even created exercise videos for The Arc of Katy clients to enjoy with their families, Campbell said.

Campbell and John Curry of Curry & Co. Consulting helps The Arc of Katy with its public relations said the organization still needs the community’s support, even though in-person activities are not ongoing right now. The nonprofit’s annual fundraising gala is still scheduled for Aug. 28, they said.

“If (supporters) have any educational or interesting things, they do they could offer those to The Arc of Katy,” Campbell said.

If you missed the sale and would like to purchase geraniums, the Katy Elks Lodge will be hosting its own geranium sale Thursday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. or when flowers are sold out, whichever is sooner, Campbell said. The sale will be held at the lodge at  Katy Fort Bend Road in Katy. 

Yoga at The Arc of Katy

The Arc of Katy’s dedicated staff and volunteers have put together some great activities for our program participants to help them keep active.. Our participants look forward to coming to our day program each day but since The Arc of Katy is temporarily closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our wonderful teachers and staff are leading Zoom meetings and sharing resources that are educational and entertaining, from exercise videos to gardening kits. 

Below are some great Yoga videos from Cherise, Rosana, Sandy, and Rhonda

Check back with us in the furture for more updates.

We are featured in Absolutely! Katy Community Magazine…look here!

The Arc of Katy is proud to be featured in the cover story of the April edition of Absolutely! Katy Community Magazine by John Curry.

“Almost everyone who knows anything about The Arc of Katy says it truly is a special place. And, the glowing comments aren’t simply because the organization provides meaningful programs and opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It certainly does that. But The Arc of Katy is special for so many other reasons. In other words, it’s not just why and what they do, but how they do it…read more.

April 29 Update: The Arc of Katy Response to COVID-19

In response to the most recent direction from public health experts and government officials about how to best prevent further community spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), The Arc of Katy will continue to remain closed through the end of May 2020.

“We do this with an ongoing spirit of care for the health and safety or our program participants, staff, volunteers and our community,” says Fred Shafer, President of The Arc of Katy.

Updates include:

  • The Arc of Katy is updating plans and will continue to keep its day program closed and cancel all social programs through the end of May. Families and providers will not be charged tuition for days The Arc of Katy remains closed.
  • The Arc of Katy is planning ahead for our summer program that is scheduled to begin June 1, 2020. Spaces have been reserved for participants whose families have submitted a registration form. Our staff continues to accept registration requests. Some days of the week are available. Other days are filled to capacity and a waiting list is being kept for those interested in attending on those days.
  • The Arc of Katy is rescheduling The Arc of Katy 2020 Gala Benefit Celebrating Hometown Heroes to August 28, 2020.
  • The Arc of Katy leadership team will continue to monitor and consider both the public health situation and updates in direction from government and public health officials to inform their understanding of how the situation impacts programs and the broader community.
  • The Arc of Katy will keep participants’ families, staff, volunteers and other stakeholders updated as decisions are made for the organization in response to this unprecedented and evolving global situation.
  • The Arc of Katy will continue to provide pertinent updates on this website and our Facebook page.
  • To stay connected with our participants as we stay at home, our staff, volunteers and some participants also have posted a number of videos on YouTube.

“Our top priority is the well being of our program participants and families, our staff , volunteers and our community,” Shafer said. “We understand and appreciate all that they do to deliver safe, healthy, fun and meaningful programs and activities for our participants.

“We realize that our participants and their families, staff, volunteers and supporters are all impacted in different ways by the community’s response to this unprecedented and evolving situation and they are thinking through their own individual response and actions to help prevent the further community spread of the coronavirus. We are committed to listening to their input and keeping them informed of decisions as they are made to reopen our programs or to extend our temporary closure.”

The Arc of Katy encourages all our stakeholders to keep informed about decisions and guidance from our government officials and public health experts. Some helpful resources are posted on various federal, state and local websites including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/

The Arc of Katy Announces 2020 Hometown Heroes

Katy Christian Ministries (KCM) and Katy Wolf Pack Special Olympics team leaders Don Wolf and Sandi Dancel have been selected as Katy Area Hometown Heroes to be recognized by The Arc of Katy at its April 3 annual gala at the Omni Houston Hotel at Westside.

The Arc of Katy launched the Katy Area Hometown Heroes program in 2018 to demonstrate the organization’s pride in the community and to recognize those who make it a great place to live for its members, program participants and their families. Both KCM and Katy Wolf Pack’s Wolf and Dancel were selected by a group of Katy area citizens from among nominations submitted to The Arc of Katy.

KCM will be honored as the Hometown Hero for A Great Place to Live for the support it provides to 12,700 local people annually through 20 programs that make up the organization’s four core service streams: social services, food pantry, crisis center and resale store.

“Many people have the misconception that Katy does not have need for services like those offered by KCM,” said KCM executive director Deysi Crespo. “However, the need is here and prevalent, and there is no better way to serve than to help those in our own back yard who may be going through various hardships.”

Beginning in 1984, the non-profit KCM has grown and adjusted to meet the needs of the area through a variety of programs such as crisis hotline, counseling, food fairs, school supplies, job readiness, health benefits and many more.

“As a Christ-centered ministry that loves and meets people right where they are, our programs are a beacon of hope for those in darkness,” said Crespo of the organization that utilizes 91 cents out of every dollar to directly support its programs. “As we engage with our families, it is our goal to spread God’s love though our actions, by listening, comforting, making connections and providing tangible resources to meet various needs.”

Meeting the needs of others over the course of their lives also is the reason Don Wolf and Sandi Dancel were selected as the Katy Area Hometown Heroes for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). Wolf and Dancel both taught special education. Both worked different jobs that benefit and support individuals with I/DD. But perhaps most impressive is the fact that both have led the Katy Wolf Pack
Special Olympics program for 21 years. Over that time, the Katy Wolf Pack has become the state’s largest Special Olympics team with around 250 athletes.

“My favorite thing about working with the individuals with I/DD is being able to put a smile on their faces,” said Wolf, who, on behalf of Katy Wolf Pack, also served as a torch bearer for the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay Team. “I would encourage others to treat those with I/DD like they would treat anyone else because I prefer to see differing abilities instead of disabilities.”
Dancel concurred, “You learn not to put limitations because our participants constantly surprise you with what they accomplish.”

Both Wolf and Dancel became interested in individuals with I/DD when they became acquainted with children with I/DD while in school. Wolf was a senior in high school when he worked with a young girl with Down syndrome. “That child inspired me to get my college degree in Special Education,” he said.

Dancel first met children with specials needs when two of her elementary friends had sisters with I/DD. Those interactions planted a seed in her that led to a life of mostly working with those with I/DD.

“How could you not love working with people with I/DD?” she said. “Every day is an adventure that is filled with honesty, love, laughter and learning.”

Their impact on the Katy community continues when both KCM and Wolf and Dancel are recognized at The Arc of Katy’s 2020 Gala Celebrating Hometown Heroes on April 3 at the Omni Houston Hotel at Westside. For more information about The Arc of Katy 2020 Gala and opportunities for sponsoring, underwriting, donating auction items or attending, please visit the event website here.

Funds generated from the gala will support ongoing delivery of high quality, safe, affordable programs that provide skills development, social enrichment and community service activities for adults and teens with I/DD. As the Katy Area community and special needs programs in area schools grow, additional funding is needed to expand services and resources for more youth and adults with I/DD and their families.

The Arc of Katy Announces Founder’s Award, Volunteers of Year honorees

The Arc of Katy today announced its 2020 honorees for the Ann Davis Founder’s Award and Volunteers of the Year. The honorees will be recognized April 3 at The Arc of Katy’s 2020 Gala Celebrating Hometown Heroes at the Omni Houston Westside.

Therese Lattal will be recognized as The Arc of Katy Ann Davis Founder’s Award recipient. Don and Sheryll Butler will be honored as the organization’s Volunteers of the Year.

“The Arc of Katy is proud to recognize Therese Lattal and the Butlers for the amazing contributions they have made to the quality and growth of our organization,” said Fred Shafer, president of The Arc of Katy. “As the need for our services continues to grow, we can meet those needs with first class programming thanks to the efforts of supporters like these.”

The Arc of Katy provides opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to enable them to be included as respected and active members of the community throughout their lifetimes. 

“It’s such a blessing to work with the amazing individuals at The Arc of Katy,” said Lattal, who has supported the organization in a variety of roles during the past 15 years.

Lattal has served as a volunteer and as both an instructor and director for The Arc of Katy Day Program for adults and teens with I/DD.  In 2013, after hearing pleas from parents ‘to keep their children and adults moving’, Lattal started the Be Strong Program. She worked with Rhonda Johnstone (2019 Ann Davis Founder’s Award recipient) to develop an exercise program for participants in The Arc of Katy Day Program. The Be Strong Program now includes aquatics classes (both therapeutic and aerobic) and access to treadmills, stationary bikes, weights and various other muscle strengthening equipment. 

“Our goal is to improve our participants’ stamina, flexibility, balance and self-esteem,” said Lattal of the Be Strong Program. “It has been such a joy to see this program grow and to see individuals’  self-confidence and physical well-being improve.”

Over the past 15 years, Lattal has seen The Arc of Katy Day Program grow from eight participants to more than 50.

The Arc of Katy 2020 Volunteers of the Year, Don and Sheryll Butler, also became involved with the organization 15 years ago, when they started searching for an adult day program for their son Keith.

“The Arc of Katy was a great fit for us, and we had no idea how much it would change our lives,” Sheryll Butler said. “We are grateful for the experiences Keith has had at The Arc of Katy which gives participants the opportunity to socialize, learn, make new friends and be a part of their community. We are most amazed by the compassionate staff and the attention and care they give to all participants.”

The Butlers have volunteered for numerous events and projects with The Arc of Katy, such as the Color Run for a Cause, the Barn Dance, the Piccadilly Market and even “some labor-intensive moving of supplies”.

The Butlers and Lattal will be honored at The Arc of Katy Gala April 3 at the Omni Houston Westside. For more information about The Arc of Katy 2020 Gala and opportunities for sponsoring, underwriting, donating auction items or attending, please visit the event website here:  https://thearcofkaty.ejoinme.org/MyEvents/TheArcofKaty2020Gala/tabid/1110283/Default.aspx. The Gala is The Arc of Katy’s major fundraiser for the year. Funds generated from the Gala will support ongoing delivery of high quality, safe, affordable programs that provide skills development, social enrichment and community service activities for adults and teens with I/DD. As the Katy Area community and special needs programs in area schools grow, additional funding is needed to expand services and resources for more youth and adults with I/DD and their families.

            For more information, contact Margaret Laney at 832.541.3809.

The Arc of Katy is a 501(c)(3) under federal tax guidelines.  Our mission is to provide opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) that enable each person to be included as a respected and active member of their community throughout their lifetime.