Arc of Southeast MS receives $20,000 from PineBelt Foundation

Joy Lines, Caroline Nurkin, Iris Easterling, Cindy Pennington, and Theresa Erickson
Joy Lines, Caroline Nurkin, Iris Easterling, Cindy Pennington, and Theresa Erickson

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Pinebelt Community Foundation 

The Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation's Ann Morris Memorial Fund recently awarded two $10,000 grants to the ARC of Southeast Mississippi to support their "Rise and Shine" and "Sunsetters not Sunsitters" programs.

These grants will provide funding to help adults with disabilities enjoy access to recreational and social activities.

ARC began the Rise and Shine program in early 2013 with the intent to give ten adults two days per week the opportunity to participate in recreation and social activities.

The program was so successful that it rapidly grew to five days with 24 participants. The Ann Morris grant will help continue the program.

The "Sunsetters not Sunsitters" program began in late 2013 and offers activities such as team sports, dancing, running/walking, yoga, skating, and golfing.

In addition, regularly scheduled social events will include game night, cosmetology classes, and dinner club.

The participants will enjoy active participation in recreational trips such as camping, amusement parks and museums.

This program will help adults with intellectual disabilities get out of their home and participate in healthy activities.

The ARC, established in the 1950s, is a non-profit agency devoted to providing community-based services to all individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Cindy Pennington, executive director, said, "both grants will allow the organization to continue programs that develop self-worth."

"Individuals with disabilities dream of places they'd like to visit and of having opportunities to spend recreational time with their peers." added Pennington. "It is rewarding to hear them say 'I am finally seeing my dream come true and that I am visiting places I'd never seen.'"

The funding came from the Ann Morris Memorial Fund, a Fund held at The Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation.

"The Ann Morris Memorial Fund was set up to assist area organizations who work to enrich the quality of life of intellectually challenged adults," said Therese Erickson, executive director of the Community Foundation.

"Our grant review process helps us to invest in productive and contributing nonprofit organizations in our local communities. "

The ARC Southeast Mississippi is devoted to providing community-based services to all individual with intellectual disabilities.

"We know this funding will contribute greatly to the well-being of many individuals in need," said Erickson.

The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation serves the Pine Belt region by managing endowments for nonprofit agencies, churches or schools.

Funds can be set up to honor an individual or in memory of a loved one.

The PineBelt Community Foundation currently manages more than 90 Funds all for the purpose of creating better communities.