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Helping Hand: The Arc of Bell County

The non-profit provides leisure and sports activities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Bell County.

TEMPLE, Texas — In a brand new series called "Helping Hand," 6 News will highlight the work of various non-profits in the Central Texas area.

This week's feature takes us to The Arc of Bell County. The organization provides leisure and sports activities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Bell County. 

Janet Abbe, the president of the Bell County chapter of the organization, said the chapter was initially back in the sixties by a group of parents.

"They started it because there was no place for their children to go. At that time it was not The Arc of Bell County," Abbe said.

Abbe said the group joined the national organization in the nineties by creating a Bell County chapter.

Abbe said those in the IDD population are often underserved.

"When these guys get out of school, a lot of time there's no place for them to go," Abbe said.

The Arc of Bell County gives those in the IDD community a place to call community.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for adults with special needs to come out and have something to do [and] to meet with their friends," Abbe said.

Every Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Wilson Park Recreation Center, the non-profit holds Fun Night. The adults who come have the opportunity to participate in sports like basketball, volleyball, and more along with a variety of activities.

While some chapters of the Arc have paid positions, the Bell County chapter is run completely by volunteers and funded by grants and donations.

Abbey said the pandemic was tough on them since the organization is all about being social.

"We are rebuilding and hopefully it will get back up," Abbe said.

They are always looking for willing volunteers to lead activities and help put a smile on people's faces.

"I hope the citizens of Bell County will learn about us and if they have a need in their family they'll reach out to us and we can direct them to come here," Abbe said.

If you would like to get involved or learn more about events put on by The Arc of Bell County head over to their Facebook page. You can also email arcofbellcounty@yahoo.com.



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