Part of HYPE’s mission is to help young professionals become better engaged in community life, expand professional and social opportunities, and become ambassadors for the Hartford Region. HYPE encourages cross-collaboration among agencies and organizations that offer opportunities to volunteer in the community. The Community Conversations series focuses on interviewing professionals in a local nonprofit to bring awareness to their mission, highlight their impact in the community, and to provide information on how to get more involved with the organization. For the April post, HYPEster Greg Calnen interviewed Andrea Barton Reeves of Harc.
What is the mission of your organization?
Harc’s mission is to help people with intellectual disability and their families enjoy lives of quality, inclusion and dignity by providing support, education and advocacy. After being founded in 1951 by a group of concerned parents looking for support services for their children, Harc was born. Since its inception, the organization has grown into a major community partner and subject matter expert.
What is your role within the organization?
As only the 2nd President / CEO in the organization’s history, Andrea Barton Reeves has managed and maintained all of Harc’s services through the extremely difficult financial times, from finding new employment opportunities with community business, to acting as a liaison between State organizations.
How do you implement your services or programs?
Harc provides programs and services for 2,300 individuals with intellectual disability and their families throughout greater Hartford. They are implemented in many ways throughout the lifespan. There's Stepping Stones/Birth-to-3, that assists with the early detection and intervention of developmental delays, which can be vital in understanding children’s needs. There are also employment opportunities with local law firms, Fortune 500 businesses and even the State Legislative Office Building. Day services are an integral part of Harc’s mission that solidifies their place as a subject matter leader. These services include job training, offering vocational and adaptive skills that will exposure to employment and community based activities. The Life Enrichment Program, is one of the highlights of the organization, delivering activities for older adults to stay active. Such activities include volunteering, cultural trips, arts and crafts, social interaction and even dance parties! The Louis and Ardè Bulova Center is specifically designed for the participants that are medically fragile, require specific therapy or other complex needs. The center includes a sensory suite with massage rooms, hair and nail salon, and a sensory room that helps promote cognitive abilities. Lastly, Harc operates and maintains residential facilities varying from group homes, condominiums and apartments. Supports at these facilities range based on the determined level of need for each individual and family.
In what ways has your organization been impactful to your cause?
Harc is a community nonprofit organization that has been creating social change for individuals with intellectual disability and their families for over 65 years, long before community services were available and institutionalization was the only option. Those that receive services from Harc have become valued members in the community through employment opportunities, social events and advocacy with the State.
How does someone get more involved?
Please visit Harc’s website to learn more. You can also check out this quick video to hear how Harc has changed lives and changed minds providing lives of quality, inclusion and dignity.
To volunteer or schedule a time to visit Harc, please contact Fred Stula, Harc’s Director of Public Policy & Communications at (860) 218-6089 or by email.
Another exciting way to learn more about Harc is to participate in the Allstate Harc Walk n’ Roll on May 6th at Dunkin Donuts Park!