National Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 21st through April 27th

Please enjoy this video about volunteering

Please check back each day this week as we post additional content.

Volunteers please remember to check your e-mail for information about special thank you gifts from us.  

Last Monday, April 15th, as part of the National Volunteer Appreciation Week Kick-off, the Arc invited our “A-Team!” Coaches to the Key Volunteer Recognition Ceremony sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Durham.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Durham Hilton with speakers such as Verla Insko NC House of Representatives, and Mike Woodard, NC Senate.   Key Awards are presented to community members that outstandingly serve two or more years in a volunteer position improving the lives of its community members.  The Arc’s A Team consists of Cooking Class Coordinator Sherry Anscher; Lead Petals with a Purpose Becci Ritter, Assistant Linda Kolstee-Ozkaynak; Run for Fun Club Coaches Scott Pate and Assistant Blake Aiken; Spin Coach Zinaida Mahmutefendic and James Haworth; and HOOPS Basketball Coach Ayman Sorial!

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In the photos are Petals with a Purpose Becci, Spin Coaches James and Zinaida and along with me (Susan Chandler) Run for Fun Coach Scott and HOOPS Basketball Coach Ayman!  These dedicated coaches help our Arc participants choose active, healthy and purposeful lifestyles!  

We thank them and we thank all of you!

Click here for our exclusive interview with Coach James.


“Acts of Random Compassion!!”



 “Acts of Random Compassion,” Carla Banks, Director of Public Affairs Orange County, coined the term after hearing about the Arc’s Petals with a Purpose Program when we met a couple of weeks ago!  The Arc is practicing these random acts when the Petals program donates the flower vases created each week from recycled materials to places like the local food pantry and Meals on Wheels!  As part of the Arc’s getting involved in the community we are also donating these centerpieces to local agencies to use as event centerpieces, a way of the Arc giving back and making a difference!  And as an Arc volunteer you too are creating a ripple effect of kindness!

Arc Volunteer, Alden Hale, researched the history of National Volunteer Appreciation Week…Most of you are aware that it is National Volunteer Week, but may be curious about its origin. Since its founding by President Richard Nixon in 1974, National Volunteer Week has been a time to celebrate and commend citizens’ volunteer efforts. Every president following Nixon has addressed Americans during the Week, encouraging citizens to continue or begin volunteering. The Points of Light Institute (  an organization that focuses on community volunteerism, sponsors National Volunteer Week… “National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.  It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, in unison, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals, to be at the center of social change, discovering our collective power to foster positive transformation.”

While there are many motivations for volunteerism, statistics show that there has been an exponential increase in the number of volunteers since 1989. One statistic shows that 23 million more Americans volunteered in 2008 than in 1989. The Arc is proud to claim some of those millions of American volunteers, and would once again like to thank each and every one of you for all of the efforts you put forth to better both our community and other’s lives.



I (Susan Chandler) love quotes!  And I love quotes on t-shirts!  I noticed a great t-shirt on one of our (very wonderful) direct care support professionals that intrigued me when I saw him wearing it.  It said “Stay Humble!”  When I asked Pierre about it, he was happy to tell me the story.  “Stay Humble” was started by a friend of his and along with another partner they founded this grass roots company that allows them to meet people from all walks of life.  The “Stay Humble” Campaign acts as a subtle yet timeless reminder that it’s often the simple things that inspire the significant and what we take for granted that usually matters the most.  Indeed!   You’ll see me wearing my “Stay Humble” t-shirt!  Their message led me to share these other quotes with you as well, for what I believe you as volunteers do is what matters the most!  Like a smile, like standing up for an ideal, like starting a ripple effect of change.  When you make a friend with someone from the Arc, you have the ability to change that person’s life for the better.  And you do!  Someone once asked me, how does the Arc measure success?   My response, “it is measured in the width of one’s smile!”  And you can quote me on that!!!

”Stay Humble” – Our story is Your story!

“It only takes a split second to smile and forget, yet to someone that needed it, it can last a lifetime. We should all smile more often.”

― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

kennedy.jpg“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy









As Volunteer Appreciation Week  and April Autism Awareness month, each coming to an end,  I (Susan Chandler) want to take a moment to truly thank each and every one of you who supports the Arc with your time, energy, financial support and spirit!  With everyone doing what we can and when we can, the greater good is achieved.  The  Arc’s new mission...“Achieve With Us!”   It works!

Let me finish the week with a favorite quote from Ralph Marston 

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”


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