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12 Days of Arc Angels

An “Arc Angel” is someone who has been nominated for moving The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region’s mission forward, “Empowering people with differing abilities to live, work and thrive in the community.”

Please read about our twelve Arc Angels listed below and be inspired to support our mission. We understand you have many wonderful choices to give to this season. So, we invite you to read about examples of what your donor dollars will be funding. This holiday season, give something that means something. Click here to donate.

Ira and Theresa Davis were approved as foster parents with The Arc NCR in July 2019. Since that time, they have provided respite for five children and foster care for three children. They took a sibling group of two brothers who came from a situation where their needs had not been met both medically and developmentally. Both were delayed in their speech as well as emotional and social development. The older child needed special education services, extensive dental surgery and help with personal hygiene.  The foster family facilitated Facetime phone calls to help the older child build a relationship with his father, who also did not speak the same language. The Davis family supported two in person visits when the father drove cross country to see the child. This child was successfully reunified with his biological father in October, after living with the Davis family a little more than one year. The Davis family continues to be in regular contact with the child’s biological father, providing support and regular connection to his half sibling whom the Davis’s hope to adopt.

Mr. and Mrs. Davis have opened their homes and their hearts to the children they have supported. They use a wonderful combination of nurturing and structure to help children who enter their home and are committed to playing an important role seeking permanency for these children. Congratulations to Ira & Theresa Davis for being Arc Angel #1 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Byron started working at Ashley Treatment Center in August 2019 and has continued to work through the COVID-19 pandemic as his job is essential. His job duties include pot/pan washing, running the dishwasher, general cleanliness of the kitchen and dining room, and basic food preparation. The facility serves 500 to 600 meals a day, 365 days per year.  This center has a great deal of people depending on them and it has been critical that Byron continue in his essential position. Byron has shown his commitment, willingness to work hard, and resiliency during 2020 and will continue to thrive in the new year! Congratulations to Byron for being Arc Angel #2 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Colleen has always wanted to learn how to cook and bake since she was young.  This year, she wanted to make this dream a reality. Almost every day, Colleen assists staff in preparing lunch or dinner. Colleen has mastered the art of cooking vanilla cupcakes and spaghetti, which are her favorite foods! She also pushes herself out of her comfort zone and prepares other dishes that her roommates enjoy, such as steak and brown rice with mixed vegetables. Cooking makes Colleen super happy! Colleen is a natural caregiver and cooking for her roommates is one of the ways she shows her love for them. Colleen took over the kitchen for our Thanksgiving dinner and we can’t wait to watch her magic in the kitchen during the rest of the holiday season! Congratulations to Colleen for being Arc Angel #3 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Due to COVID-19, softball season started quite late this year. That did not deter The Miracle League of Harford County.  When some restrictions were lifted in late summer, Tom Walls, wife Sharon, daughter Katie, and countless volunteers, quickly jumped into action and created a calendar for small groups to play at least twice monthly. August 25, 2020, 7 people we support participating in small group outings, played the inaugural softball game at the Miracle League ball field at Schuck’s Regional Park. The feeling at the end of that morning was one of elation. The individuals playing were smiling from ear to ear and clapping while the volunteers were hugging and thanking us for coming out. The Arc NCR team members were beaming with pride seeing the individuals we support feeling so accomplished! That was the first day of many more to come. The Miracle League invited us back 6 more times, with the last game scheduled for November 4, 2020.  During this game, one of the participants was lamenting that it was the last game and wished he could play just one more game. His coach pointed out Tom Walls and told him to go advocate for another game.  Another game was added, making the last game of the season November 10, 2020. Congratulations to The Miracle League of Harford County and the Community Partners program for partnering together this year and for being the 4th Arc Angel story this holiday season.

Judith Miles is a DSP at The Arc NCR. Judi advocates for the people she supports every day. She sees people for who they are, not for their differing abilities. Judi knows how important it is for people to feel happy and have choices. Prior to COVID-19, Judi led the after-hours group for individuals in the Personal Supports program. The individuals in that group looked forward to attending every week. Judi provided these supports every week after her normal work hours. She helps to create an environment where the people she supports feel safe and supported. Most recently, Judi has gone out of her way to sit with the men she supports to educate them about COVID-19. They had a difficult time understanding why they could not leave their home. Judi took the time to watch the news with them and explain what everything meant, how it affected them and how they could stay safe.

Judi understands the importance of community participation. Prior to COVID-19, Judi routinely suggested new community activities. The junior’s group in Community Partners had the opportunity to begin participating in chair Zumba through Harford County Parks & Recreation. Judi asked if she could be the DSP to take them so she could help motivate people and get them engaged. Most recently, Judi has been very creative in getting the men she supports out of the house. They routinely ride bikes in their neighborhood, go for walks, and garden outside. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those supported by our agency.  No wonder you were voted Most Outstanding DSP at The Arc NCR! Congratulations to Judi on being Arc Angel #5 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Richard, who is 80 years old and “super-d-duper,” as he likes to say, has always enjoyed staying active and connected with his friends.  Due to COVID-19, Richard’s schedule and routine changed drastically, but he remained flexible. While receiving support through the Community Living program, Richard decided to participate in the agency’s newly formed Virtual Supports program. Now, Richard is engaging in activities he would not normally be able to and connecting with old friends and new friends alike. We are so impressed with Richard’s willingness to be open to learning and connecting through a new platform during this challenging year. Congratulations to Richard on being Arc Angel #6 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

XPO Logistics is one of The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region’s newest employers. They are rated among the top ten global logistics providers and the Perryman location specializes in Disney products. They have hired Ashley C., Ashley W., and William W. as material handlers.  Susan Shannon, the Human Resources Director was instrumental in making this happen.  The Employment Services team was able to tour the facility and learn more about the different job opportunities available, as well as select the work area that would be most ideal. Susan also accommodated them with shorter working hours. William is on the line with the box making team responsible for a variety of tasks including box making, operating the tape machine, and palletizing.  Both Ashley’s work with the repacking teams to prepare products for robots to select for shipment.  They love their jobs and have wonderful natural supports. Congratulations to XPO Logistics for being Arc Angel #7 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Heather has been receiving supports through the agency’s Family Support Services (FSS) program.  She has a son who has been on an Individual Education Program (IEP) since second grade.  He was born three months early, struggles with learning disabilities and other behavioral health needs. Heather participated in IEP training classes and parent support groups offered by FSS, and these trainings provided the tools she needed to feel educated and empowered during her son’s IEP meetings.  Both Heather and her son are now thriving from the training and continue to support other parents coping with challenges through the FSS parent support group. Congratulations to Heather and the FSS Team for being this year’s Arc Angel #8 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Hero Dogs Honor came to The Arc NCR in April of 2019, a donation from Hero Dogs, Inc., a 501 c3 non- profit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for our nations heroes by raising, training, and placing service dogs and other highly skilled canines free of charge with a lifetime support of the partnership.  Honor was placed with The Arc NCR as a facility dog and we could not be happier!

Hero Dogs Honor quickly became a treasured member of The Arc NCR.  She had daily visitors in her office, and held monthly pet therapy sessions, which were well attended.  She had her own class in the Community Partners Program, including a day where the class made dog treats and donated them to the Harford County Animal Shelter.  She is an excellent listener and the people we support feel comfortable talking and sharing with her.

In December of 2019, Honor and her handlers passed the Good Citizenship test.  Since COVID-19 hit, Honor has been a little lost and missing her Arc NCR family. She was accustomed to a lot of attention and now seems baffled when people keep their distance.  She continues to come in on Fridays to greet people we support in Community Living and has even visited a few houses to spread some holiday cheer.

Honor and her wiggly tail bring happiness to everyone she encounters including people we support, team members and visitors of The Arc NCR. Congratulations to Hero Dog Honor for being Arc Angel #9 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Dennis Metz served on The Arc NCR’s Foundation Board from January 2013 to July 2020.  He has been instrumental with his devoted, heartfelt support of The Arc NCR’s Memory Garden event for many years and he has championed the qualifications for the Volunteer Award, which he began in loving memory of his son. Dennis has also donated and sponsored Arc NCR events for years, as well as participated in the agency’s Adopt-a-Home program every holiday season.  Dennis has provided consistent, quality service, contributing time and talents on a regular basis, and he has brought more value to The Arc NCR, individuals, and families than he could ever know. Thank you, Dennis, for all you do for The Arc NCR! Congratulations to Dennis Metz for being Arc Angel #10 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Last month one of The Arc NCR’s supported individuals, Lori, wrote into nominate her staff member, Jessica Bonsiero, for being an outstanding employee. Lori was without staff for quite some time until Jessica came along.  Prior to COVID, the two of them were very active in the community.  Lori also wants to increase her hours because she enjoys participating in the life of her community and working on her goals with Jessica. Jessica recently began supporting Lori again following a medical procedure.  Lori was so excited to have Jessica supporting her during the six-week recovery period.  Lori writes, “Jessica is such a very dedicated worker and she has a positive effect on me. She really enjoys her job! I have never heard her complain about her job. She is so fun to work with. I can say she goes that extra mile every time.” Thank you to Lori for your complimentary words about Jessica.  Congratulations to Jessica for being Arc Angel #11 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

Arissa R. wrote a letter to our Family Support Services Program (FSS) in search of finding resources to assist her in caring for her son Dontiae. She wrote, “In September of 2010, my son experienced a horrible medical ordeal that took his life a couple times, but GOD sent him back to me.” As a result of this medical trauma, Dontiae has severe health and medical issues and mental health challenges that he copes with daily.  With all his medical and therapy appointments, his brother Deante kindly stepped up to be his caregiver and has been taking care of him ever since.

Arissa worked at The Penitentiary as a Correctional Officer.  In 2004, she was attacked by an inmate resulting in bulging discs and sciatica, which also resulted in 4 surgeries. With Dontaie being 6 feet tall and weighing more than her, it was not possible for her to care for her son.  Deante has given up several years of his life to support both his brother and his mom Arissa. He has decided it is time to get a full-time job, an apartment and start his new life as an adult. Arissa reached out to FSS knowing that once Deante moves away from the home, she would be in a “crisis” situation and Dontae’s health and safety would be at risk.

FSS was able to connect Arissa to the resources she needed to come up with a plan.  FSS supported her throughout the planning process by explaining the different programs, how their funding worked and what their purpose was, so together they could come up with the best plan of action.  After making several phone calls and lots of conversations, the best plan of action included DSS Respite, Community First Choice and the DDA.  Arissa continues to show strength and faith that everything will work out. Congratulations to Arissa for being our Arc Angel #12 for the 2020 Holiday Season!

DONATE ONLINE: Please click here to donate online.  Thank you for your support!

DONATE BY MAIL: Please make your check payable to The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region and mail to:

The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
4513 Philadelphia Road
Aberdeen, MD 21001
Phone: 410-836-7177
Fax: 410-893-3909

Thank you!

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