The Arc of Carroll County held their second annual Autism in Motion 5k on April 17 in Westminster. There was a 3.5-mile course along with a one-mile fun run. Almost 100 runners attended and many others came to show support for the cause. Runners were greeted at the finish line with refreshments and music along with Kona Ice, which donated a portion of their proceeds to The Arc.
The organization was able to raise approximately $4000, all of which went to the went to the Autism in Motion program, according to Britt Burr, the Assistant Director of Autism Services at The Arc.
The Arc of Carroll County has been helping members of our community for over 60 years, and is one of the first autism based programs in our county. They are a non-profit organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities stay active members of our community. They provide transportation for special needs students and supported housing for those who cannot live independently. They also help form support groups and services for individuals and their families.
Autism in Motion is a program at The Arc that was established in 2014. They were given a one-time grant of $40,000 from the Knott Foundation, a Catholic family organization which dedicates its time to help support and strengthen communities. Because the members of Autism in Motion are low on the autism spectrum, they don’t qualify for state funding, therefore, they are supported through donations and fundraisers.
Programs are offered for those who are out of school but not yet employed. It helps them stay active in our community and it allows them to learn, make friends, and get out of their comfort zone. Services provided by Autism in Motion involve a variety of classes, including cooking, creative expression, and theater. They also host social events and provide them with assisted job hunting. The goal of this program is to help adults with autism learn, make friends, and develop social skills that will help them succeed independently. As of right now, classes are affordable, but without the proper funding, they would have to increase the cost of each class, reducing the amount of people who are able to benefit from them.
Almost 300 people in Carroll County are on the autism spectrum, many of which could benefit from this program. As of today, Autism in Motion has been able to provided services to around 40 people within the community. Fundraisers like this 5K help The Arc stay open so they can continue to help adults with autism succeed. Without the proper funding for this program, they will be forced to cut classes, limit activities, and reduce the number of participants.
For more information about the programs and services provided at The Arc of Carroll County visit http://arccarroll.org/ or call 410-848-4124.