Holiday Appeal 2017
“You’ve Got a Remarkable Friend in Me”
Twenty-four year old Jodi Mar has been non-verbal since birth. She is able to communicate only through an assistive device known as a “talker;” a tablet pre-programmed with short, simple responses. Recently, at a field trip to Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) arranged by PARCA Family Support Services; Jodi, who is rarely communicative, shocked everyone when she spontaneously introduced herself to the students, shared her favorite color (“pink!”), her favorite movie (“Toy Story”) and her favorite song (“You’ve Got a Friend In Me”)!
Jody’s parents were surprised and delighted to hear about their daughter’s breakthrough since Jodi has never before expressed herself so fully and spontaneously to anyone. They were grateful for the measures taken by PARCA and NDNU to create a safe and welcoming environment, where Jodi felt relaxed and comfortable enough to share her thoughts and feelings with total strangers. Like everyone else, people with developmental disabilities thrive when they are recognized and welcomed into their communities. We learn so much from their courage, their joys and their loving hearts.
When PARCA was incorporated in 1954, the acronym stood for “Peninsula Association for Retarded Children and Adults.” This year PARCA has a new name and acronym that accurately reflects who we are, “Partners and Advocates for Remarkable Children and Adults.” It took 65 years of dedication to turn the word “retarded” into its true meaning – REMARKABLE. We are enormously grateful to all of you who have helped make this change a reality. We ask you to help as much as you can to make sure people with developmental disabilities continue to have happy lives living as independently as possible. In sincere gratitude for all you do for PARCA, and with best wishes for the New Year!