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A2 Friday, December 27, 2013

The North Haven Citizen | northhavencitizen.com

ARC From Page 1

been growing, space is needed to host more participants as well as a multipurpose room, kitchen, and offices, Cavallaro explained. Some participants live in North Haven, and others come from surrounding towns. One participant, Paul, said, “I like it here.” Paul explained that he enjoyed movies and beading, one of the arts and crafts activities. Cavallaro praised the “exceptional” staff at ARC, who she said do an excellent job of building up a rapport with the participants. This can be especially meaningful to participants who lack the fine motor control necessary for speech. Cavallaro explained that many staff members learn to communicate with participants in ways that they choose, which can include facial expressions, gestures, and picture cards. One staff member came to know a participant who was fascinated with mechanical devices. This staff member brought in a remote controlled car, disassembled it, and put it back together, much to the participant’s delight. “The staff here are definitely here for the participants,” Cavallaro said. Cavallaro explained that ARC seeks to offer participants as normal a life as possible. Participants, she said, have the same desire for independence and exploring their interests that anyone elseThe does.North At Arc,Haven staff members seek to allow participants to learn new skills and

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participate in their own care to whatever extent is possible. For example, if all the motor control a participant is capable of is pressing the start button on the washing machine from a wheelchair, ARC staff members help participants accomplish whatever independent tasks that they can. The facility has wheelchair accessible sinks as well as front-loading washers and dryers with buttons reachable from a wheelchair. Participants also lead self-advocacy groups, assisted by the staff, where they discuss rights, especially the right to be free from abuse. Whenever possible, participants accompany staff members on outings to various locations in the community. Day trips include bowling, museums, movies, shopping, and visits to other programs. One participant visits his elderly mother once a week with the assistance of the staff. ARC recently honored Faheem Hopkins, a North Haven employee and a veteran of 15 months of service in Afghanistan who started working in July of this year. Hopkins was given a paid day off in honor of Veteran’s Day. ARC occasionally receives volunteers who offer programs and interaction for participants, including arts and crafts, musical performance, and other activities. ARC was founded in 1953 and first operated out of 1420 Chapel Avenue in New Haven. Since then, the program has expanded to locations in Milford, Hamden, and North Haven. Cavallaro said that the staff and participants interact very well and enjoy each other’s company. “It’s not us and them,” Cavallaro said, “It’s we.”

STOCKINGS STUFFED

Sacred Heart Academy students participated in the annual Stocking Drive. Each year, the student council organizes the event where Sacred Heart students fill stockings for students from St. Francis/St. Rose, St. Martinde Porres and public schools in New Haven. Participants, from left, back row: Rachel Korolyshun, Nneoma Obi, Samantha Sansone and Deirdre Reidy. Front row: Lauren Davis, Ashley Heidtmann and Andrea Sanchez. (Submitted by Beth Griffin.)

Shelter From Page 1

rooms, including one where visitors can get acquainted with animals they are considering for adoption, as well as a stockroom/conference room stuffed with shelves around a large table. Even this room sometimes serves as a hang-out spot for cats that enjoy sitting on food bags on the shelves. The Animal Haven runs frequent fundraisers to support its operation. The shelter uses 700 cans of cat food every week, 50 cans of dog

Refuse collection North Haven refuse and recycling collections for Wednesday, Jan. 1 through Friday, Jan. 3, will be picked up one day later, according to the North Haven Public Works Department. The transfer station and recycling center are always scheduled to be closed on Mondays. Both centers will be closed Jan. 1 for the Christmas and New years Day holidays.

food, 18 gallons of bleach, and 65 rolls of paper towels. Other donations sometimes include towels, blankets, sheets, and pet beds and furniture. This Saturday, Dec. 21, from 10am to 1pm, North Haven’s Agway will be holding a supply drive to benefit the shelter. “Every can of food helps,” shelter manager Kate Cryder said. She explained that the Animal Haven hopes to fill the van on Saturday. Cryder said The Animal Haven does not receive any funding from town or government sources, operating by grants, private donations, and numerous fundraising events. According to a statement from the board of directors, “It has been a challenging spring and summer for The Animal Haven... our vet bills have been astronomical... In general, expenses are up and income is down.” The Animal Haven’s mission is to provide “a temporary home for adoptable animals,” Cryder said, al-

though some animals will live out the remainder of their lives in the shelter. Even with space for 120, Cryder said the shelter is forced to turn away as many as 10 animals every day, mostly from people who are moving. Cryder said that those who want to help the animal shelter should consult its website. “We couldn’t function without our volunteers,” Cryder said, “but the work is more challenging than some people appreciate.” The Animal Haven is assisted by about 50 active volunteers. Cryder explained that some volunteers come in thinking they can complete community service hours by sitting down and petting cats, but the reality of volunteer work is primarily lots of cleaning. The shelter makes cleanliness such a high priority to prevent infection and disease. Volunteers also do the majority of administrative, financial, and maintenance work.

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North Haven Citizen Dec. 27, 2013

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