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Virtual Adventures

Our ACTIVITIES 4  U link and our COMMUNITY RESOURCES link are two places to find important information.  You can always access them here on our PANDEMIC UPDATES PAGE

and on the HOME PAGE of our website.  We add information regularly and welcome your ideas.

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Monday, May 18, 2020

A Message from Kathleen Stauffer,

CEO of The Arc Eastern Connecticut

Hello again, Everyone! 

This week begins a slow and measured reopening of some businesses and public places across the state. Follow Governor Lamont’s “ReOpen CT” plan at for information on this first phase of reopening and guidelines specific to different types of businesses. As I mentioned last week, however, and in our latest podcast, the unique nature of Arc ECT’s programming and supports make it necessary for us to take a more careful and gradual approach to reopening. Please share the podcast with your friends and family members; it also includes an update on our micro-enterprises and our plans to regain ground with our businesses when we are all able to return to work.

As always, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to our brave and exceptional residential staff, who work extraordinarily hard to make sure our 22 group homes and 93 residents stay safe and healthy. As a special treat for all the group homes, music therapist Janine LaMendola ( has been traveling and performing on the lawns of our group residences. Janine sings, plays guitar and signs to connect and entertain. We’ve received a grant from Bailey’s Team for Autism to have Janine do a 10-week program for our participants and their caregivers as well.  Both staff and residents are enchanted by Janine’s performances, which are offered with “beautiful, unconditional love.” As the weather gets warmer, we’re planning on doing more outside entertainment, since it’s been such a big hit.

Take care,

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PS – How are you and your family weathering COVID? I would love to hear from you. Please email me directly at

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Podcast Trivia!

Listen to our latest podcast and correctly answer the following 2 questions to be placed in a drawing for the chance to

Win a $50 Gift Card!

Send your answers to


Here they are:

  • What is a Virtual Adventure that CEO Kathleen Stauffer really wants to do?

  • How many recycling bins for bottles and cans does The Arc ECT’s redemption center have all around northeastern CT?

The Arc NEWS

Question of the Week: “What Specifically is The Arc ECT doing to make sure your Direct Support Team is safe at the group residences?”

We’ve received this question several times over the past week from concerned friends and family members, who understand that this is indeed a frightening time for Direct Support Professionals. We thought it would be helpful to provide a list of the procedures we’ve put in place, as well as activities and supports we’ve added to make sure that our staff and the people we serve are not only safe and healthy, but staying as upbeat and positive as possible.

  • WELLNESS CHECKS. In addition to making sure that everyone follows all state and agency guidelines regarding the use of PPE and additional safety measures throughout the residence, all House Leaders do daily “triaging” of staff to make sure that people who are sick or who may be sick do not come to work.

  • FOOD DELIVERY. Weekly bulk food is purchased and divided by a team of five to provide the 22 homes food and supplies and delivered to homes.

  • SPECIAL MEALS. A weekly special dinner or lunch delivery is coordinated and delivered to the homes as a fun and festive alternative to cooking—a “restaurant experience” that keeps everyone safe.

  • ENTERTAINMENT. Musicians, storytellers and various entertainers perform on the front lawns of the residences, brightening everyone’s day.  As the weather improves, we’ll have more opportunities for this type of activity.

  • FUN! Puzzles, games, crafts, and gardening supplies are provided to keep people active and engaged.

  • TECHNO-TAINMENT. iPads are in each home, allowing for virtual visits with family, day programs and meetings.

  • SMALL GIFTS! To lift spirits and remind the team that they’re valued and in our thoughts, the administration team sends little “wellness packets” to each team member with small items like hand sanitizer, colorful cloth masks, sweets, and little party favors.

  • MOVIES! Firesticks were purchased for the homes to allow for a broader choice in TV viewing.

  • SURVEYS. All front line team members received a survey, allowing an opportunity to provide comments or suggestions on the work environment, things needed, concerns, procedures that are working and maybe are not, what folks like about the way the agency is handling the pandemic and what needs improvement. Except in cases where the respondent preferred to remain anonymous, all surveys received personal responses and all issues are being reviewed and addressed.

  • EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE. Leaders and Direct Support Professionals have access to mental health supports coordinated by the agency.

  • COVID UPDATES! The Arc ECT provides a COVID-19 Update page, with a resource list and continually updated links to engaging and fun activities for both staff and the people we support. 



This Week's Recipe

THE Best Potato
and Egg Salad


Family feuds have been launched over potato salad recipes

—everyone has one, and everyone thinks that theirs is best.

For those of us who like a smooth, creamy potato salad with

LOTS of eggs, however, nothing can top this recipe. The

weather’s finally warm and outdoor picnics are just around

the corner. So, make this easy and favorite side dish, claim it as the winner, and nobody gets hurt.



  • 3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes*

  • About 2 tbsp. white vinegar

  • 5 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and chopped

  • ½ cup diced green onion

  • ½ cup celery

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s or Miracle Whip, depending on your preference)

  • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard

  • 1 tsp. celery seed

  • Kosher or regular salt, and fresh ground pepper, to taste

  • Paprika

*White potatoes like Yukon Gold hold their shape well after cooking and don’t turn to mush like starchier potatoes like Russet. They hold the dressing well. And because they have a thinner skin, they’re really easy to peel after boiling.


Give this salad time. Allowing the potato salad flavors to meld is important here. If you’re planning on eating the salad on the day you make it, do it as far ahead of time as you can so it can sit and build the flavors, or make it a day ahead. Potato salad will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If it doesn’t get eaten up before then.



  • Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Add them to cold water and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat, boiling until fork tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and let cool, then drain again. Before you add the dressing make sure the potatoes are cool, or the dressing will become too runny.

  • Note: do NOT add salt to the water, or the potatoes will seep water into the salad. Season the salad just before serving.

  • Add a few splashes of white vinegar to the potatoes while they are still warm and cooling.

  • In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, celery, mustard, eggs, onion, and celery seed.

  • Fold in the completely cooled potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Sprinkle the top of the salad with paprika.


Recipe Variations

  • Try a half and half situation by subbing in half sour cream or Greek yogurt for any part of the mayo/Miracle Whip combo.

  • Add pickles. Diced sweet pickles, dill pickles or pickle relish will give this salad another layer of zing.

  • Chopped red onion or radishes will add a bit more heat.

  • Add bacon for an earthy bite.

  • Try red potatoes instead of Yukon gold, and leave their jacket skins on for a more colorful potato look.

Personal Protective Equipment

for COVID-19 Care

DSPs Make the Difference

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