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Author: Campaignium

Home for Christmas Extravaganza

This past Friday, Christmas lights and carolers lined the parking lot of The Arc Administrative offices. Home for Christmas Extravaganza, a virtual/drive-thru event raised funding for our Rivendale program. Although, we would all have liked to have been gathered, The Arc Administration made the difficult decision to go virtual with the event for the safety of everyone.

Businesses and individuals stepped up in a big way to help us raise over $41,000 to support students with disabilities and learning difficulties to reach their full potential. The event included a delicious meal catered by As You Like It Catering, a holiday bundle with several goodies such as; tech gloves, pint glasses, fire-starters, sweet bread from Neighbors Mill and a choice of beer, wine or cider. Meal pickup took place at The Arc Administrative offices with Christmas lights, carolers from MSU and Santa himself. After everyone got cozy at home, they were able to enjoy exciting entertainment, inspirational stories and an online silent auction from our Home for Christmas program.

“Home for Christmas Extravaganza was a special spin on our signature event and was very successful,” stated President/CEO Mike Powers. “We are thankful to the many sponsors and individuals who made this event possible during a difficult year for fundraising.”

From all of us at The Arc of the Ozarks, thank you for supporting our mission and Happy Holidays!

Our end of year request

It is our mission to support individuals with disabilities in directing their own lives as valued members of the community. To achieve this goal, we rely on the generosity and support of individuals.

Our goal is to raise $20,000, so that we can expand the individuals served and services provided by the Mercy Autism Diagnostic Clinic. The Mercy Autism Diagnostic Clinic is a collaboration between The Arc of the Ozarks and Mercy Hospitals, serving as a resource to our community. The goal of the clinic is to support families from the point of initial contact and diagnosis through access to needed services in the community. Follow-up care is provided to ensure the best possible outcome for each child and family.

There is a high need for an autism diagnosis clinic in our community. Families who receive a diagnosis have doors opened to them including supports, therapies that insurance does not normally cover, access to waiver programs through the Department of Mental Health and early intervention tools. With your donation, we can help to shrink the wait time for these families seeking evaluations.

Your gift will ensure our clinic can consistently deliver high quality, family-centered research, care, and training to more children. To donate online, visit and click on donate in the top right.

How do we provide quality support? People like you, who see the value of everyone in our community and make the difference.

Please consider a charitable gift to The Arc. The enclosed infographic has additional details on the importance of early intervention and how your gift can make an impact. Thank you for your continued support.

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Joplin’s Morning Brew a successful networking event

On Friday, October 2, The Arc hosted the Joplin Chamber of Commerce Morning Brew. Although the event looked different than the previous year, it was successful and had over 60 people in attendance. The Arc adjusted the event by asking those that attended to wear masks, socially distance and utilize hand sanitizer. We also hosted the event outside to accommodate those adjustments. Local business owners, The Arc’s case mangers and legislators were in attendance. The Joplin Division was established in 2002 and has grown significantly over the years. This division provides residential care, community integration, Applied Behavioral Analysis and supported employment services.

After a halt in employment amid COVID, employee is happy to resume

Robert has been working at McAlister’s Deli since early 2017 which is an achievement Robert is very proud of. Robert is a dishwasher for the restaurant and was working 2 shifts a week until he was offered more hours after about 2 years of employment with the company. Robert’s managers are very impressed with his work ethic and overall positive attitude. Robert was offered 2 additional weekly shifts but he decided to only accept 1 more shift a week in order to not overwhelm himself. While on-shift at McAlister’s, Robert receives support from a job coach who reports regularly to staff members that Robert does a phenomenal job at work completing job duties, staying on task, and completing extra delegations once completed with his own work. Robert expresses to his staff members often how much he loves his job and enjoys his coworkers.

When Robert was laid off in mid-March due to Covid-19, he was heartbroken and disappointed but maintained a hopeful outlook. Robert took the initiative to check in with his support team via phone call about every two weeks about the status of his employment until Robert received the awesome news that he would be going back to work August 12th. Robert missed 5 months of work due to the pandemic and regularly informed the people in his life over that time frame that he couldn’t wait to go back! Since going back to work, Robert has been excited every day for his work shifts and the opportunity to spend time with and interact with his coworkers.

Here is what Robert has to say:

Why is work important to you?

“’cause I like my coworkers, I enjoy making money, even though money isn’t the main thing, I still like hanging out there and I enjoy working with my job coach.”

How has the pandemic impacted work for you?

“It was terrible that I didn’t get to go to work for like 4 months. I really missed work and I didn’t like it at all that I was missing work. I really missed the employees and working at my job and making a paycheck.”

How did you feel when you found out you get to go back?

“I felt great, I was really excited!”

Is there anything else you want to share about your work experience?

“My job helps me be more independent and I enjoy making money.”

Robert’s manager, Heather (picture below), states, “Robert is such a good kid. We just love having him here so much; he holds a special place in my heart!”

Two new faces join The Arc of the Ozarks Board of Directors

In July, two individuals were appointed to The Arc Board of Directors, Sarah Gremminger and Steve Wise. Both individuals have a passion for the mission of The Arc and have been directly involved with the organization in different capacities.

Gremminger recently resigned as the Assistant Director of Human Resources to stay at home with her two-year-old son after seven years with the organization. When meeting Sarah, it is undeniable that she has a passion for serving others. Through her time with The Arc, she served on the Employee Relations Committee as the Vice-President. Sarah found news ways to appreciate our Direct Support staff and loved volunteering for any fundraising events. Sarah will bring a strong knowledge of Human Resources to the Board of Directors.

Mr. Wise has had a long history with The Arc of the Ozarks, as his late wife Alice served on the Board for many years. He has always held the organization close and has the best interest of the clients we support top of mind. He resides in Monett and will be a great addition to the Board representing Barry and Lawrence counties.

Welcome Sarah and Steve!

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Beautiful morning for some friendly competition

On Saturday, August 15th, The Arc of the Ozarks 12th Annual Sporting Clays Shoot took over Ozarks Shooters Sports Complex. A total of 93 individuals showed up to support The Arc and enjoy some friendly competition.   

The shoot is held to raise funding for The Arc’s ISL (Individualized Supported Living) Start-up fund. Specifically, this fund aids with items that include deposits on new apartments, furniture and various moving expenses. Over $11,000 was raised for the ISL Start-Up Fund.

“The ISL Start-Up fund is essential for our clients moving into their own homes to get a fresh start,” stated Mike Powers, President/CEO. “We are so glad we were able to hold this event after the last few months of uncertainty.”

This year, a grab and go boxed lunch was provided by HoneyBaked Ham and sponsored by Henry’s Towing. Scores were emailed directly after the shoot ended and prizes were mailed to ensure everyone’s safety.  

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from each flight won prizes of Bass Pro gift cards and bragging rights.

This event could not be possible without the many sponsors that aided in making it successful including our presenting sponsor, Commerce Trust. Our supporting sponsors included Central Bank of the Ozarks and (CSI) Central States Industrial. CSI brought 35 shooters to the event and have been instrumental in the growth of the event over the years.

Mark your calendars for next years event taking place Saturday, August 22, 2021. Contact The Arc at 417-864-7887 for more information on the ISL Start-Up Fund and other services provided.

See the results of the shoot HERE.

The Arc’s Virtual Hiring Fair

There are ample opportunities at The Arc of the Ozarks!

Join us on August 25th anytime between 11 am – 1 pm for our Virtual Job Fair and connect with our hiring team to discuss YOUR opportunities!

There is also a drive-thru opportunity for anyone wanting to chat with the Human Resources team in person happening at the Elfindale office located at 1721 W Elfindale St, Springfield, MO 65807.

Video chats and phone interviews will be scheduled with qualifying applicants.

Email [email protected] or call 417-864-7887 to chat with someone today!

The Arc Foundation Director, Larry Freund passes away

The Arc is saddened by the loss of The Arc Foundation Executive Director, Larry Freund. Larry passed away on July 26th at the age of 84.

Mr. Freund provided support to The Arc of the Ozarks through the establishment and operation of The Arc Foundation, beginning in 2008. He was a continuous advocate for the individuals The Arc supports and our fundraising efforts. Mr. Freund provided insight and support numerous time the Development staff at The Arc.

Larry was a loving husband, caring father, beloved grandfather and a loyal friend. People who spent time with him were able to share his sense of humor and passion for life. He was known for his generosity and love for helping others.

In recent years, Freund also co-hosted a radio show called “The W Factor” on KWTO-AM with David Eslick. He hosted monthly shows about The Arc of the Ozarks, the programs we provide and how to get plugged in. Mr. Freund will be missed by so many in our community.

Go Blue FORE Autism Goes Virtual

The Price Cutter Charity Championship took place July 23-26 at Highland Springs Country Club with no spectators in attendance. Things looked and felt much different on the course, but that did not stop The Arc of the Ozarks from Going Blue FORE Autism on Championship Sunday.

The Arc has sponsored Go Blue Fore Autism Championship Sunday for several years covering the course with blue ribbons and hosting spectators with a blue tent located on the 18th green. “This event brings so much awareness to the autism programs The Arc provides to the community,” stated Development Director, Danielle Wise. “We had to come up with a way to grab the attention of our community and educate them on our services.”

The Arc took to social media to spread awareness of Go Blue FORE Autism Championship Sunday. Many businesses throughout the community, local leaders, legislators, staff and clients posed in pictures wearing blue. Hashtags including: #autismawareness, #BlueTogether, #CommunitySupport and #BusinessesGoingBlue were shown on each post.

All funds raised from the Price Cutter Charity Championship benefit our No Limits Summer Camp program for children with disabilities. The community has rallied behind the 50 children’s charities involved in the tournament during this difficult time. Thank you to everyone who showed their support by “going blue” with us on Sunday!

Using technology to increase independence

In the fall, Lauren began looking for jobs so she could increase her level of independence and eventually get her own apartment with reduced staffing. She began maintaining a self-regulated routine of daily chores and hygiene Lauren began working for Cox just before the pandemic began. She learned skills at her previous job at DCO that helped in her success. She worked until the statewide shutdown occurred. Fortunately, Lauren was able to continue getting paid and has done an outstanding job of saving her money to move into her own apartment.

Emily has been working hard on managing her diabetes. She has taken it upon herself to have staff assist her with watching and tracking her carbs to lower her blood sugar and she has been trying new recipes. While discussing the progress she has been making with her diet, Emily asked her guardian if she could begin pursuing reinstating her own guardianship. She had a mature conversation about what her needs are and acknowledged that she knows she still needs help in some areas. Since this conversation, Emily has been working on a letter to the judge to request limited guardianship for herself.

Due to their growth and independence, both ladies chose to participate in piloting a new remote monitoring system called Hearo in their home. To help prepare them for the launch of Hearo, the staffing in their home has been reduced to shorter hours. This has improved their ability to self-direct their daily lives. Both ladies are administering their own medications, have their own keys to their home and individual medication cabinets. They choose, plan and prepare their own meals and activities. They choose their activities whether it is hanging out at their home, going for a walk, talking on the phone, or just relaxing and enjoying their peaceful home. On Saturdays, both girls have only overnight staff. They both love their increased amount of independence Hearo can provide them.