Too often animals are neglected, injured, and abandoned. We are fortunate to have several compassionate organizations in the Denver Metro area that are working hard to end pet homelessness and animal suffering. They shelter, feed, and enrich our adoring animals while they are waiting for a loving family to go home to.
The arc Ambassador Civitan Club wanted to do something to help these wonderful organizations and to make these animals more comfortable as they wait for their forever families. To do so, at our last meeting, the Club made over 100 chew toys that will be donated to several animal shelters in the Denver area. The material for the chew toys came from recycled t-shirts from arc Thrift Stores.
Normal Club business was also attended to at this most recent meeting. President Michelle Knight opened the meeting with leading the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Civitan Creed. Kyle Knoeble, our club treasurer, made several announcements including inviting everyone to the Ambassador Halloween party on October 30th. We heard a few words from Bernie Funk, the new Civitan area director, and we welcomed a new member to our club, Ryan Maly. Jeff Alexander offered to do artwork for the Civitan International Christmas card, and we elected Marlene Glimm as our new secretary, with Emily Waldo standing in as backup. The Rocky Mountain Civitan Club also provided all the Ambassadors with Halloween goodie bags.
If you are interested in helping animals in the Denver area, there are many items that are needed at various animal shelters that keep the animals happy, healthy, and most of all adoptable. Items include dog and cat toys, canned wet food, dog or cat treats, blankets, and towels. If you would like to donate needed supplies or volunteer at The Denver Animal Shelter go to https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-animal-shelter/get-involved/volunteer.html or at the Dumb Friends League, https://www.ddfl.org/volunteer/.
Elleana Tate began working for arc in 2011. She has worked at a number of our stores: the East Colfax location, the store on South Broadway, and now at the Littleton store. Elleana’s visual impairment hasn’t stopped her one bit. The bright lights of the Littleton store make it easy for her to do her job ragging out clothes in the children’s department. But, she’s also relied upon a great deal by her team; she greets customers with her sunny smile and warm personality every day, and she’s always busy working on the sales floor and assisting in the accessories department.
Elleana is a friend to all: her supervisors, her buddy, and her peers. She makes a special effort to learn everyone’s birthdays, their children’s names, and even their hobbies. She attends Arc University and many of the social events, most especially the dances where she loves to dress up and cut loose to any song by Christina Aguilera. She loves her church family and the gospel music they sing. She is also quite the artist and is hardly ever without her sketchpad. It is through her watercolor drawings that this creative soul is able to express herself.
Mark has been with arc for over six years, and since that very first day, the Parker Landing store where he works has gleamed like a bright new penny! He loves to keep things neat and tidy, and nothing makes this 27-year-old happier than being useful. When he isn’t assisting in the B&B department, you will find him with a broom and dustpan, straightening out the aisles. His favorite task is to bring in donations and to hang new clothing items and then take the unused hangers back to production.
Mark loves attending Arc University. He enjoys bowling with his friends, music and dancing, and participating in many sports. Although he is not very verbal, he communicates brilliantly with his bright smile and joyful personality. In turn, arc has given this hard-working young man a purpose and a sense of independence that his parents say have changed his life for the better.
Elnaz has been working for arc since 2015. The Centennial store’s sales floor is a well-managed place thanks to her efficient approach to running the clothing racks and her cheerful personality. Elnaz is very active in the Arc Ambassador programs, where she has made countless friends. She is also the secretary for the arc Ambassador Civitan International volunteer group, another area where her steadfast commitment and enthusiasm come in quite handy!
Elnaz is one of our first Ambassadors to be admitted as a student to Arapahoe Community College, via a program supported by IN! – Colorado Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education. She loves campus life, but it’s the family she’s created at arc that has encouraged her to spread her wings and that brings her the most happiness!
Homeless people often rely on the generosity of strangers and nonprofit organizations for assistance when they lack a roof over their heads and the basic necessities of life. Giving Care Bags to the homeless can supply these individuals with items that may be difficult to come by and provide a touch of kindness during a period of their life when they need it the most.
At the last get-together, the arc Ambassador Civitan Club made over 100 Care Bags that will be donated to a homeless shelter in the Denver area. Some of the many items that are needed and that we included in our Care Bags are socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, band-aids, chapstick, protein bars, and many other essentials. As the Civitan creed says, “MY HANDS do the work of the world and reach out in service of others.” The arc Ambassador Civitan Club made it their mission on this day to help make the world a more compassionate place
If you would like more information on ways you can support and empower the most vulnerable groups in our community, visit the websites of our arc Thrift Stores partners, the Denver Rescue Mission https://www.denverrescuemission.org/Donate-Items# or Volunteers of America https://www.voacolorado.org/about to find out how you can make a difference to those in need.
Emily is an Ambassador currently working at the Green Mountain location in Lakewood. She recently moved to this new store from the Jewell location, where she worked for about two years. At arc Emily takes care of ragouts and putting items away that have been taken off the shelves.
Emily loves to be a part of arc, not only for the mission and good work she does but also because of all her fellow workmates. She loves being at this new location because she gets to meet new coworkers and customers, and it’s a chance for her to get closer to a whole new group of people.
When Emily isn’t at work she is either taking arc University classes and trips, hanging with her mom, or spending times with animals. Her favorite activity is to go to the zoo and see the animals, especially the giraffes. On a lucky day she might actually be able to feed one right out of her hand! Her passion for the zoo began when she went there with an arc University group. But she has made sure to steer clear of snakes and roly polies because they are the only animals she is not a fan of (and who can blame her!).
Emily also loves to ride horses or to have spa days with her mom.
On reflecting on being a featured Ambassador on Denver7, Emily said: “It was truly amazing; I still feel so special.”
Ribbons have long been used as a way to raise public consciousness for a cause. This is true for those working for our community. Over the years, disability awareness has evolved from simply bringing knowledge to also include a focus on advocacy for inclusion and on making people aware of local and national resources and activities.
At the last get-together, the arc Ambassador Civitan Club made over 200 maroon ribbons to help raise awareness for those people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Ambassadors will hand them out to family, friends, and coworkers whenever they have the opportunity.
arc Ambassador and club artist, Jeff Alexander, made a very special banner for our Civitan Club. He did a terrific job and we are proud and grateful for the time Jeff took to create something so wonderful.
After President Michelle Knight opened up the meeting and we recited the Civitan Creed, club secretary Elnaz Sobhi, reviewed the minutes from our last meeting. We learned that our club was featured in the Civitan International magazine. What a proud moment for us and a reminder of our mission to build good citizenship and to reach out in service to others.
Kingahnah has been working at the arc Centennial store ever since the doors opened. He has been a valued part of the arc team doing whatever task is asked of him throughout a shift. He often works stocking shoes, running racks, and stocking shelves on the floor. Like many other Ambassadors, Kingahnah’s favorite part of the job is the customers that he gets to meet and help on a daily basis. He also enjoys the company of his coworkers and having the pleasure to work with such motivated and kind people.
Kingahnah and his coworker Elnaz were both just interviewed by a local TV station where they were recognized for all of the hard work they have done for arc and their community. Although Kingahnah works hard for arc, he also spends much of his spare time working on his writing and listening and creating music.
Kingahnah is currently working on a book called, The Box, a story about a young female lead rescuing a gentleman from a cult that is trying to recruit him. He enjoys writing suspenseful stories and poetry that take his imagination to crazy new places. While he isn’t writing, Kingahnah is practicing his DJ skills with his turntables. His passion for music started with hip-hop, jazz, and rock, but he has grown to love all different kinds of music.
Elnaz works closely with fellow Ambassador, Kingahnah, at the Centennial arc store. She has also been working at arc since the store opened in 2015. Elnaz was recently interviewed by the local TV station in a special segment for Mothers’ Day.
Elnaz works in the store stocking and organizing shelves, particularly in the kids’ section, but she will always help out wherever she is needed. Elnaz believes that work and life are both great adventures that have opened up wonderful opportunities and allowed her to meet great coworkers and customers.
Elnaz is a very kind-hearted and caring person who wants to make sure everyone is happy and she will do her part to make that happen.
“Customer service is the #1 goal and priority for me.”
When she is not spreading happiness throughout the Centennial store, Elnaz is often found in the bowling alley. She has won two awards in Colorado for Special Olympics bowling. Her highest competing score was 1,699 points in three games to earn her a first place medal. Although they have taken bowling out of the Special Olympics in Colorado, she still enjoys playing with her friends and family whenever she can.
“The things that arc gives us make us smile. They have given us many great opportunities.”- Elnaz
On August 11th, arc Thrift Stores held it’s 4th annual “Golfing with a Purpose” Charity Tournament Fundraiser at the beautiful, scenic, and well-manicured Red Rocks Country Club in Morrison, Colorado. In attendance, were over 150 supporters of arc and its mission to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Among them were 120 golfers participating in the tournament, 25 corporate sponsors supporting the event, and dozens of volunteers.
It was a perfect day for golf, and our players enjoyed on-course contests like a Long Marshmallow Drive, a Buy a Drive from a Champion Long-Driver who hit the ball 450+ yards for the teams, and Hole-in-One challenges worth cash and prizes. Arc Ambassadors Garnons and Ryan showed off their stellar putting skills on the 9th green. We had a wide variety of raffle and auction prizes, uniquely peppered with those one-of-a-kind finds we discover at our stores.
Special thanks to everyone who participated in this great event, and extra special thanks to our Platinum level sponsors: Prime Trailer Leasing, and Colorado Storage Systems, and our Title Sponsor OrthoColorado Hospital. This event grows in support and FUN every year, and we can’t wait to out-do ourselves again next year!
Written by Ethan “The Razz” Raczka.