First, a little history.
Our history as an advocacy organization goes back to the 1930's. In the 1970's The Arc (then known as The Arc of Twin Harbors) created and spun off Timberland Opportunities (a sheltered workshop) Kimberly Group Home (residential housing) and Harbor Alternative Living Association (supported living). Today we are an agency of Grays Harbor County providing information and referral services (Start with The Arc!) and are an agency of The Arc of Washington providing Parent to Parent support and coordination.
All that long-winded background is to illustrate the following point: we are in this for the long haul. We are committed to the long term wellbeing of our community and the individuals living in it.
Learning that your child has a disability or chronic health need can be a traumatic experience. Parents have many questions and concerns in coping with their child's need and their own feelings. You are not alone. We have been there. The Arc of Grays Harbor's Parent-to-Parent is dedicated to helping families cope.
We are proud of the tradition of partnership between organizations here on the Harbor. The needs of this community are such that rarely is an individual's (or family's) current problem isolated to one realm. In addition to our own core competency of developmental and intellectual disability advocacy, we work and share resources with organizations dedicated to poverty, education, unemployment, mental illness, homelessness, chemical dependency, domestic violence and childrens needs.
As the Parent to Parent coordinators of Grays Harbor, we are eager to serve even more families. For a variety of reasons it has proven difficult to do effective outreach to young families on the harbor. We are confident that the county's new birth-to-three services agency (South Sound Parent-to-Parent) will provide the referrals that our families need. We also look forward to working with them to learn from their successes in Thurston County so that we can implement them in our community.
In my experience, the nonprofits on the harbor are, without exception, dedicated to collaboration and cooperation and not competition. That "heart" is the source of our power.
The Arc of Grays Harbor offers two wonderful and valuable programs on the third Thursday of each month; the ICAN lifeskills program and Parent-to-Parent. Both are conveniently offered here at our office at 523 West First Street.
Parent to parent is a peer networking opportunity for parents of children with developmental disabilities to share experiences, information and enables those of us who have been there to act as mentors.
The ICAN club is an fun and educational group designed to help those of us who can use some skill building in areas of budgeting, cooking, self-help and independence.
Everyone is invited, give us a call at 360 537 7000 to learn about the topic of the day!