What’s often the first question someone asks when you meet for the first time? “What do you do for a living?” Well, for hundreds of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that have gone through the JARC Florida program, they can now easily answer the question…and do so with pride.
And hundreds more can share the places where they’re employed thanks to the JARC Adult Day Training (ADT) and Community Works programs.
JARC Florida is a non-sectarian organization based in Boca Raton that provides group homes, apartments, and vocational training for adults with developmental disabilities. They strive to assist each individual with becoming all he or she is capable of being and encourages this growth in a caring, nurturing environment. It is the mission of JARC FL, in partnership with the families of its clients, to promote independence, dignity, and self-respect to create more fulfilling lives. JARC currently operates ten group homes in the Boca Raton and Delray Beach area for adults with developmental disabilities. JARC FL offers apartment living for those who do not require 24-hour supervision as well as vocational training in the Mel & Elaine Stein Living and Learning Center. The organization was created in the mid 1980’s in response to the needs of families with adult children with developmental disabilities. Learn more at http://jarcfl.org.
BlueIvy Communications has been working with JARC Florida since 2015. The partnership has primarily focused on brand building, media outreach, program support, and event attendance. BlueIvy consistently promotes the organization’s events throughout the year. We also seek out opportunities to highlight the important work JARC does and how the organization impacts the lives of so many individuals. Here is a recap of some of those programs that BlueIvy has secured attention to and exposure for over the years.
JARC clients have been nurturing their on-site community garden – now named The Jeffrey & Nicole Goldberg Ability Garden at JARC Florida – for years. BlueIvy has secured feature articles and TV news features on the clients, their ongoing work in the garden, how they harvest the food before cooking and eating, and how they learn skills through horticulture. As a result, the Garden continues to receive more interest, donations and volunteers year after year.
Having a job builds confidence. And through the JARC Community Works Program, clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities can train and work at various businesses in the community. Once the client has proven him or herself as a valuable member of the team, the goal is to get that client officially hired by the business. (Before that, JARC pays the client’s wage while he or she learns the ropes.) Upwards of 20 clients have already received jobs in the community thanks to the JARC program, and at the end of the day, everyone benefits from this beautiful partnership.
The annual “Fashion Show with Heart” gives JARC clients the opportunity to walk the runway, strut their stuff, get dressed up and just have fun in front of crowds of fans. It’s one of our favorite JARC–hosted events every year because of the excitement, laughs and smiles from all participants. This year, during the pandemic, the Fashion Show was an in-person/virtual hybrid, yet media, including the Sun-Sentinel and WPTV NBC Channel 5, covered the event from near and far with BlueIvy’s support.
Did you know that the unemployment rate of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities soared during the pandemic? When businesses reopened and invited their employees back to work, many did not open their arms to those workers with disabilities. While the reasoning is still unclear, with the help of BlueIvy, JARC was featured on local TV news stations around the country talking about the importance of employment for those with disabilities, and why they need their jobs back. BlueIvy also placed Op-Eds for the nonprofit and got the immediate attention needed to help clients return to work!