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The Arc speaks at Exchange

Representatives with The Arc of Pearl River County spoke to the Exchange Club of Picayune Wednesday to update the club about the services offered, and plans for the future.

The Arc of Pearl River County President Susette Morrow, said the organization helps people with intellectual disabilities lead fuller lives by providing them with activities throughout the year and helping meet their needs by referring them to services. The organization also has plans to offer a reading program.

Over the course of the last three years, the organization has funded requests to have two ramps built at the homes of those who need them, and has also provided wheelchairs to those in need.

Many of the people the local chapter helps used to work at Picayune Industries, a business that allowed people with disabilities to find employment. However, Morrow said that government legislation mandating everyone make at least minimum wage lead to the facility being closed. Since that facility was closed, many of those people who spent 20 years working together were unable to see each other. Morrow said that through events held by The Arc, that has changed. The events include a Beau and Beauty Pageant, Luau, Bingo and craft days.

In October, members of The Arc will assist the local council of the Knights of Columbus during the Special Olympics Bowling Tournament, set to take place at the local bowling alley.

Morrow said the organization has also been able to rent office space, which they hope to utilize to establish a functional literacy program.

To raise funds for future programs, the organization is in the planning phase of holding a Dining for Achievement event. Secretary Lori Nesser said the event will seek out willing local restaurant owners to donate a percentage of their sales to The Arc. She has set a tentative date of Nov. 8 to hold the event, but it’s not set in stone. Additional details and a firm date can found on The Arc of Pearl River County Facebook page.