Nov. 20, 2015 • Connect with us! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website


The Arc of the Midlands is growing!


If you haven’t heard by now, ​The Arc of the Midlands has moved into a bigger office space at 529 South Lake Drive. We have more office space​ in addition to a laundry area and kitchen for our clients and our micro business (read on for details). Our place also serves as a safe haven and social outlet for clients and potential clients who need a place to come and be themselves. We’ll be celebrating and getting to know each and our clients at our #worksgiving party tonight.

In ​addition to moving ​we are also growing our staff. Our newest employees are:

— Mike Bell, Chief Operations Officer
— Beverly Toye, Residential Counselor and Let’s Talk project manager
— Doug Finklestein, Employment Specialist
— Mariel Millen​, Employment Specialist and Let’s Talk project manager
— Michelle Bell, Employment Specialist
— Terry and Becky Bolda, Employment Specialists in Greenville
— Ashton Queenfights, Employment Specialist and Residential Counselor​
​Feel free to send them a friendly greeting and welcome them to our team!​

Our job coaches makes dreams come true!

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​​​People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are gaining competitive employment opportunities in the Midlands area thanks to our amazing employment coaches. We have a staff of six employment specialists who take time to find out what the clients want and need and stay with them throughout the whole process of getting a job until they are totally comfortable. Our coaches never completely leave and are available whenever bumps in the road arise. Our fabulous coaches are: Terry and Becky (Team Bolda in Greenville), Mariel, Michelle, Doug and Ashton. For more information about employment services, contact us at 803-693-5746.

Check us out making all natural dog treats

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The Arc of the Midlands ​is making significant progress in our all natural dog treat micro​ business. Thanks to inspiration from The Arc of Greensboro’s arcBARKS company, we are making and marketing in Lexington and Columbia. We have some amazing retail associates — Josh, Nick, Austin and Charlie — who are learning what it takes to make a successful business.

After we make treats, we take them to the Soda City market on Main Street in downtown Columbia most Saturdays. There are so many dogs who eat up the treats and come back for more. The market is a great environment and we are looking forward to more visits and more connections. For more information about our dog treat business, contact Doug or Ashton.

Our residents love living independently


Ask Tim what he enjoys most about having The Arc of the Midlands as his residential provider and he grins big and says, “It’s fun!” Tim began as one of our supported employment clients and eventually he chose us as his residential provider and is the happiest he’s ever been.

“I just like the environment and being able to get out,” said Tim. He’s able to get out in the community and do his own thing while we provide him necessary supports for living a fulfilling ​and independent life. One of his favorite things is to ride his bike around Lexington because he enjoys the fresh air and exercise. If you see him riding or walking around Lexington, send a friendly wave his way.
In addition to living on his own, he also makes his own money working at Kohl’s. Working at Kohl’s is a dream for Tim especially since he loves clothes, shoes and being around people. Thanks to The Arc’s mission regarding clients with I/DD living on their own, Tim is happy, happy, happy!

The Arc of the Midlands residential services provide the necessary structure, training and staff support to ensure the safety and well-being of residents and promote community inclusion and quality of life. Residents and staff will work together to maintain a comfortable, safe, and healthy home environment in SLP style homes. Contact Melinda or call 803-693-5746 for more information about our services or if you wish to help them learn how to cook healthy and delicious food.

Save the Dates!

— Check out Kick It Karate’s brand new location at Capital Karate from 9:15-11:15 am most Saturda​​y​s​. Meet the instructors and talk with Capital Karate’s fabulous team. Capital Karate is located at 2728 Rosewood Drive, Columbia. Continue learning and growing with Kick It on Saturday mornings! For more information, contact karate@arcmidlands.org.
— Have a Little Green Christmas at Soda City from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. ​Nov. 21 and Dec. 5. The Mixed Greens team will be somewhere on the 1500 Block of Main Street in downtown Columbia hanging out with local vendors, farmers and other small businesses. For more information, contact Natalie at Natalie@arcmidlands.org or talk or text to 803-622-1469.

Other Arc Midlands sponsored programs

The Arc@Work creates a pipeline for youth and adults with I/DD into inclusive, sustainable employment with comprehensive supports in state and federal government agencies. We also provide employer training for continued satisfaction for employer partners. Additionally, new employees utilize the TalentScout toolkit providing for higher levels of productivity. This is a SC Developmental Disabilities Council funded program.

Let’s Talk is an innovative and inclusive 20-week self-advocacy training program funded program , for adults with I/DD, encourages people with disabilities to be involved in their community and voice their opinions using 21st century skills while utilizing various media sources.

Mixed Greens is an awesome community gardens and projects group with fun and inclusive activities to be scheduled throughout the year. Farmer’s markets, community gardens, Little Green Wagon and Adopt-a-Pot make up the programs in Mixed Greens thanks to funding from SC Developmental Disabilities Council. Learn gardening and sustainability skills while making new friendships!

Kick IT Karate This program provides opportunities for individuals in the special needs community to explore and participate in martial arts in a fun accepting environment! The Arc of the Midlands in collaboration with Capital Karate and the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council offers a FREE 12-week orientation/white belt karate program designed to prepare individuals with special needs for integration into mainstream programs.  The program launched in July 2014 and is in full swing.  Programs are structured so new students can start/rotate in on any Saturday.

Wings for Autism: The Arc of the Midlands in collaboration with The Arc of South Carolina, Pro Parents, Early Autism Project and SC Autism society are implementing a Wings for Autism program in Columbia, SC in spring 2015 and in Augusta, GA in spring 2016. Wings for Autism® is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and aviation professionals.

NCCJD Chapter Champions for Justice: Through this program, The Arc of the Midlands will help build the capacity of the criminal justice system to effectively identify, serve and protect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), many of whom have “mild” disabilities that often go unnoticed among criminal justice professionals without appropriate training. Follow NCCJD on Facebook!

Project Search is a business-led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration!  The Arc of the Midlands in partnership with the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department and Lexington-Richland School District 5 has been awarded a grant through the South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council to develop a Project Search site in the area.

Happy Friday!

Congrats to Kick It’s newest yellow belts! Way to go guys!

The Arc of the Midlands | 529 S. Lake Dr. Lexington, SC 29072 | 803-693-5746

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