The Arc of Katy celebrates 30 years serving the community

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- The Arc of Katy is celebrating 30 years this week.

The non-profit, which serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has been offering virtual meetings while being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Arc makes me feel like a social butterfly," said member Jennifer Lee.

A group of educators and parents formed The Arc of Katy to make sure people were getting social interaction once they left high school.

Members who range from ages 16 to 60 years old can sign up for classes or attend social functions.

"We had one participant that came to us about a year ago. She's probably in her 40s now, and she just looked around and she said, 'I haven't had friends since high school and now I have friends again.' That's what the Arc is, a way for them to connect," said program coordinator Sandi Dancel.

Due to COVID-19, the physical building is closed and fundraisers have been canceled.

The non-profit is now primarily functioning through community donations.

"Typically, on a day like this, we would have 30 to 35 participants," explained president Fred Shafer. "They would be playing games, doing arts and crafts and socializing."

Plus, the members are also feeling the impact.

"I'm ready to go back because I miss my friends and my staff, and playing UNO and going bowling," said member Mary Harris.

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