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Monday, April 6, 2020

From Kathleen Stauffer,

CEO of The Arc Eastern Connecticut


Good Morning to everyone on this beginning of Passover, Ramadan and Easter season. I hope you’re all doing well.


Please continue to refer to our resource link below, which is updated regularly, as well as The United Way’s 211 information site and CT’s COVID-19 web page for the latest updates.

News at The Arc ECT this week

April 15th marks The Arc ECT’s first podcast. An update of our response to the pandemic to date will be made available to everybody via this podcast. Please send any questions you have to me, and we’ll answer the questions during the podcast. Please email your questions as early as you can to


Camp Harkness

We have made the difficult and very sad decision to cancel our camp program at Camp Harkness this summer. We made the decision because safe operations require many advance preparations right now, and those preparations – hiring, planning, programming – cannot happen safely right now. Parents and campers have received notifications and everyone who’s already signed up will receive full refunds. 


Thank you!

I am proud of every one of you! Everyone continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that essential services are provided to the people we support, and that each member of our family here at The Arc ECT remains supported and reassured. I continue to be amazed and impressed by our direct support team members’ and leaders’ resourcefulness and creativity during this time.


As always, my very best wishes to all of you as we continue to face this challenge together.

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Dear Team Members of The Arc Eastern Connecticut:


As members of the Board of Directors of The Arc ECT, we’ve been closely following both Connecticut’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps our agency has taken to keep people safe and healthy while minimizing—to the extent possible—program disruptions. We want to let all of you know how proud and grateful we are to have such an incredible group of people helping and caring for the people we support. The way that all of you—direct support professionals, job coaches, administrative support staff—have come together, sacrificed, and worked to address the current and future needs of people with IDD is truly awe-inspiring.


As President of the Board I’m in ongoing contact with our CEO Kathleen, other Board members, and leadership staff, so I hear daily how you have stepped up to this unprecedented challenge with fortitude, creativity, and no small amount of courage. I don’t know if we can thank you –and your own loved ones—enough during these uncertain times.


Once again, on behalf of everyone on the Board and from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for all that you do—and continue to do—for The Arc ECT and for our community members with IDD in eastern Connecticut.


With Warmest Regards and Best Wishes,

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Linda Rhodes, President

The Arc ECT Board of Directors


From Laurie Herring,

Chief Operations & Quality Officer 


My message today is one of gratitude.

I am grateful for the amazing commitment of the Direct Support Professionals who show up every day to bring laughter, service, and care to the people in The Arc Eastern Connecticut residences. This team, led by Residential Managers, heavily supported by the Administrative Team, has demonstrated once again that the job of these front line employees goes beyond the task. The heart and compassion of the team is demonstrated in their creativity, their commitment to ensure healthy environments and their support for each other.


In addition, I want to express my appreciation of the In-Home Supports Team. Again, these front line staff are out in the community, supporting people in their homes and working to ensure safe and healthy outcomes for the people we support. Again, the courage and creativity of this team is humbling–there are no words to express how much we honor the work that is being done.


A huge shout out to our amazing Day Support Staff, some of whom answered the call to support our residences, and some who make certain that people we support in our day/employment programs are not isolated. The creativity of this group in connecting both virtually and via the phone has made a world of difference for people who feel cut off or isolated during this time. Thank you for you continued commitment to support and lead.


And finally, please allow me to say so clearly how much we appreciate our Nursing team. They are guiding not only the homes, but also the staff during this unprecedented event. Thank you, Nurses, your calm voices, and clear guidance makes all the difference.


So many others are in place to support the teams during this time, from IT to Maintenance to our community partners who step up to assist, thank you.


Please all stay safe, take care of each other.

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“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.”
William Shakespeare


A Video Message from Laurie Herring

Chief Operations & Quality Officer 

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Easy to Make
Bunny Cake

From Andrea Kaiser,
Chief Development Officer


The BUNNY CAKE is an Easter tradition at our house!

I’ll be honest, I don’t like to cook or bake.  The task of pleasing five kids at the dinner table was always exhausting.  This cake is a family favorite because of its presentation not because of its complexity.  I have always used a boxed cake mix!! The flavor was only dependent upon which child went grocery shopping with me.


  • Your favorite boxed cake mix

  • Canned whipped white frosting

  • 2 cups of shredded coconut

  • Jellybeans or gumdrops

  • Green food coloring

  • Construction paper for ears


Bake cake as directed on box using two 8-inch round pans. (one cake mix makes two bunnies)

Once cake is cooled, cut one layer in half as shown in the diagram.  Put halves together with frosting to make the bunny body. Stand bunny body upright on serving tray.


Cut out a notch about 1/3 of the way up on one end of the body—this notch will mark the transition from bunny head to bunny body. The cake you’ve cut out of the notch then forms the tail—attach it with a toothpick. (See diagram for template).

Frost entire cake and sprinkle with coconut. Use jellybeans for face features.  Cut out ears from construction paper.

Shake 1 cup of coconut and 3 drops of food color in a tightly covered jar until evenly tinted. Spread coconut grass around bunny.

Past Messages

Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19 Care

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