Houston Junior Forum helps fund summer program

The Houston Junior Forum presented a grant of $5,000 to The Arc of Katy this month to help fund our 2020 summer programs for teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

On June 15, The Arc of Katy launches a re-designed summer program in line with current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. A limited number of participants and staff will meet in small groups Monday through Friday at The Arc of Katy program facility. Also, The Arc of Katy instructors are making available a new online curriculum on Tuesdays and Thursdays for program participants not able to join in person.

“The Houston Junior Forum has generously supported our summer programs in recent years; and we greatly appreciate their grant in 2020 because, as we reopen our facility to participants this summer, we are experiencing higher cost and greatly reduced revenue,” said Fred Shafer, president of The Arc of Katy. “The grant from the Houston Junior Forum helps us kick off a June 2020 fund-raising campaign in which we hope to raise at least $30,000 this month to help cover program costs as we cancel our annual gala, the linchpin of our fundraising programs, consistent with our community’s efforts to limit spread of COVID-19.”

The Houston Junior Forum is a non-profit women’s organization open to all women age 21+ who share a strong desire to make a difference for others through community service. The group of about 400 members provides services for more than 16 non-profit organizations. Some of its funding comes from sale of goods at the HJF Resale Shop located at 1815 Rutland Street in The Heights area of Houston as well as an annual fund-raiser event known as Conversations From The Heart.

We signed the pledge: Katy Area Return to Work Safely Task Force

With safety and health of our participants, staff, volunteers, and the community as our priority, The Arc of Katy has pledged to follow the Katy Returns to Work Task Force‘s 15 principles for a Work Safe Company.

As we prepare to reopen our facility to teen and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in mid-June, The Arc of Katy is implementing several new protocols and procedures consistent with those recommended by the Return to Work task force and based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We encourage other companies and nonprofit organizations with which we do business in the area to do the same.

The Katy Returns to Work Task Force’s objective is to provide authoritative and timely information and useful resources on safely re-opening Katy’s businesses (from small to large). Working collaboratively, the Task Force strives to support reasonable and predictable paths for returning Katy businesses and their employees to work while avoiding a second peak in COVID-19 cases.

All Katy citizens and business owners have access to the Task Force’s website, for up to date and carefully researched materials in four primary areas:

  • Medical (including mental health)
  • Financial (available resources)
  • Strategy (where and how do we start?)
  • People (individual and organization-wide)

In addition, real-time data on local medical system capacity and upstream identification of hot spots of viral spread will be collected and monitored. Access to this vital information will allow businesses to take proactive steps to prevent a second peak and avoid subsequent consequences of increased economic hardship within the community.

Morning Circle

We are missing all of our participants and teachers at The Arc of Katy. We hope you can use this video to do your own morning circle at home. Join our teachers for the morning pledge and prayer.

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.