On Wednesday, May 2, St. Louis Arc will participate in Give STL Day. The event is a 24-hour, online day-of-giving designed to ignite the spirit of giving across the region and support causes in the St. Louis area where we live, work, and play.
In 2012, we were asked to create a social opportunity for adults with Asperger Syndrome. We hosted an informational meeting to get ideas and began a monthly get together shortly thereafter. Within 6 months, it was clear that this group did not want an activity driven service or a therapeutic support group; they just wanted a place to meet people and talk, without a lot of social pressure and anxiety. They were also invested in being in their local community in typical social settings so we shifted to a monthly dinner group.
From this, CONNECT was born. CONNECT is a program of the St. Louis Arc that empowers individuals to lead independent lives using individualized and community supports. Over time, a small group of 6-8 people blossomed to more than 6 gatherings per month in various neighborhoods throughout St. Louis serving more than 400 individuals a year.
But what makes CONNECT so important? CONNECT impacts people in big ways! From increased confidence in social communication to an increased ability to navigate many social situations in a restaurant setting, CONNECT creates deeper relationships – ensuring that people with disabilities live their best lives with fun, friends and the meaningful support that comes from a social network.
To ignite your excitement about the work St. Louis Arc does we will share three success stories of empowerment from our CONNECT program. Connect with us via social media on May 2 to hear firsthand what CONNECT has done and join us for Give STL Day to help us build community and empower people!