Transforming lives in East Texas: Meet The Arc of Smith County

Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 12:58 PM EDT
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As part of our ongoing Subaru Support series, Peltier Subaru in Tyler is shining a spotlight on a different non-profit organization each month. As we enter August, we’re taking a look at The Arc of Smith County, where they help to build a future for East Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“This chapter opened in 1962, and it started with a home that was given to The Arc to operate from,” said Executive Director Susan Hawkins. “In the 17 years I’ve been here, we’ve grown The Arc programs and activities up to 23 activities, including all our camp programs.”

It’s through The Arc’s many programs that the individuals in need of assistance, and their families, are able to enjoy exciting opportunities as well as get the resources to help each individual maximize their potential and learn life skills.

Camp Kennedy had a fantastic start with lots of joy and smiles!!! After dinner they made their team flags and played some fun Bingo. ❤️

Posted by Arc of Smith County on Thursday, July 6, 2023

“They’re seeing an increase in self-confidence, certainly with the Life Blessings that transitions them into potentially a workforce area of their lives,” said Board President Phyllis Cox. “We’re working with other nonprofits in the community to see how we can help each other. And I think that that collaboration in the community is very important.”

With these resources, classes, and programs, those in need of a stepping stone have been able to get employment in East Texas, and as Hawkins told us, “Brookshire’s Grocery is one of those that truly believes in putting our clients to work, and they will come up with positions and create jobs for our clients.” Along with Brookshire’s, there are bookstores and restaurants that also help take in those that go through The Arc so they can find a job they enjoy and continue to gain that self-confidence.

To support The Arc of Smith County, there are two options that assist with the programs they put on throughout the year. Firstly, monetary donations help with the supplies and needs throughout the programs and events, and secondly, volunteering to help with each event. There are many options to help as the events can be recreational or for support.

Learn more about how The Arc of Smith County helps our community by checking out their website, or visit their Facebook page to see updates about what events are going on.

Peltier Subaru Supports is the latest initiative at The East Texas Weekend created to highlight local non-profits around East Texas. Each month we will feature a new organization in our region to highlight their importance within our community. If you have an idea for our next feature, let us know by emailing us here.

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