WASHINGTON, NJ (Warren County) – Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been unable to participate in Special Olympics activities, or even gather with others that they do not reside with, for almost a year. In an effort to help with the void of being able to gather and participate in athletic competition, Special Olympics New Jersey donated athletic game equipment to different agencies that serve this vulnerable population, including The Arc of Warren County.
The Arc of Warren County received a donation of nearly $800 worth of equipment, including eight bag toss boards, two bocce sets, two bowling sets, 10 ring toss games, one wiffle ball set and a variety of tee shirts. These items are to be utilized to engage the individuals who the Agency serves.
“It was important to Special Olympics New Jersey to make it a little easier for organizations to help their consumers stay active during this time,” said Matt Willey, Field Services Manager, Special Olympics New Jersey. “This is why this statewide outreach was launched. This initiative includes working with agencies to hold a virtual bag toss competition, which is designed to keep this community engaged.”
Plans to utilize this equipment include incorporation of the games into Camp Warren, The Arc of Warren County’s camp located in Knowlton, this summer, as well as some athletic competitions between different group homes. Once the Recreation Department’s Social Club is up and running, all of these materials will be used to promote involvement.
“We are very pleased to receive this donation from Special Olympics New Jersey,” said Robyn Gardella, Assistant Director of the Recreation Department at The Arc of Warren County. “These products will provide us with additional resources to ensure that our consumers have a fuller recreational experience even under the restrictions that we are currently faced with.”
The mission of Special Olympics New Jersey is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the communities.
The Arc is a national organization that serves individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their family members since 1950. The Arc of Warren County is one of 700 chapters of The Arc and serves more than 1,100 people annually for the past 66 years. Programs include residential group homes and supervised apartments, day services, community based supports, advocacy services, recreation and summer camp, Special Olympics training, early intervention and a wide variety of additional social services.