Monday, April 27, 2020
A Message from Kathleen Stauffer,
CEO of The Arc Eastern Connecticut
Happy Monday, Everyone!
Please remember to get out a bit and take advantage of Eastern Connecticut’s Spring weather. For a list of parks and recreation areas that are open and ideal for maintaining safety and enjoying some fresh air, just click on our Activities 4 U page.
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO OUR DEDICATED DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS: What we do day to day is rewarding work, but it is not easy. From time to time, we have to face difficult truths. An article in The Day last week reported that a former employee of The Arc New London County was arrested for allegedly assaulting a person we serve. It was The Arc who called the police, and it was our dedicated DSPs who alerted us to this concern.
In fact, sexual abuse of people with IDD has been called a national epidemic. The Arc Eastern Connecticut sponsors one of only a handful of programs nationwide for people with IDD who have survived sex abuse and domestic violence. The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and our annual fundraising events pay for the program. Please remember it is important to be vigilant and speak up if you see or suspect inappropriate behavior in any program.
I encourage you to learn more by reading this National Public Radio article. The Arc Eastern Connecticut plans to step up its efforts to prevent sex abuse even further moving forward. Please join us in advancing a national model for both empowerment and prevention.
Although our micro-enterprises are in recess due to the COVID self-isolation order, everyone is in regular communication via ZooRoom chats. Chef Kim, our Culinary Manager, is back on the job using all the ingredients we have in our kitchen to bake and donate what you can be sure will be delicious treats for people in our supported group residences!
YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED! Please take the time to complete UConn’s 15-minute anonymous survey on how families and caregivers with children, youth or adults with disabilities are doing during this unprecedented crisis with COVID-19. Results will be used to identify gaps in current communication and public health messaging specific to people with disabilities.
A note regarding the stimulus check many of you have already received: the check does NOT count as income, and it is excluded from assets for 12 months after you receive it. Those of us who help people manage their money are encouraged to work with folks to develop a plan for spending or saving it as the person deems appropriate.
Good news for those who have filed or who are filing for Unemployment: Governor Ned Lamont’s office announced last week that due to emergency upgrades in the processing system, the originally anticipated six-week wait period will be shortened to one week or less, as of April 24. Keep monitoring your email for notifications regarding next steps, and if possible, use direct deposit to have your benefits sent directly to the checking or savings account of your choice.
Please continue to take care of each other this week; stay safe and healthy.
This Week's Recipe
Who Doesn’t Love a Frittata?
Breakfast, lunch or dinner--a frittata is perfect as a main dish at any meal. You can usually make one with ingredients that you already have in the house—because with a frittata, substitution and experimentation is king!
To make a great frittata every time without always using a recipe, remember this ratio: For every six eggs, use 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup cheese, and 2 cups total of vegetables and/or meat. This will get you a frittata with a hearty filling — especially if you’re using something like potatoes and bacon — and a creamy egg custard shot through with the tang of cheese.
For this recipe we used bacon, potatoes, spinach and cheddar cheese. But feel free to use your own combinations!
Use a large cast iron or oven-safe nonstick skillet. Stainless steel pans will work, but you’ll need extra oil to make sure the eggs don’t stick to the pan.
6 large eggs, enough to cover the ingredients
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 slices thick-cut bacon (8 ounces), chopped (optional)
2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby spinach (2 ounces)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup shredded cheese, such as Gruyère, Fontina, or cheddar (optional)
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
Place the bacon in a cold 10- to 12-inch nonstick oven-safe frying pan or cast iron skillet, then turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (If omitting the bacon, heat 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet, then proceed with adding the potatoes).
Return the pan to medium-heat, add the potatoes and sprinkle with the pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
Pile the spinach into the pan with the garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Add the bacon back to the pan and stir to evenly distribute.
Spread the vegetables into an even layer, flattening with a spatula. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt.
Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.
Bake the frittata until the eggs are set, 8 to 10 minutes. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. For a browned, crispy top, put the frittata under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Many of you will have noticed that your Spring Newsletter hasn’t arrived. We’d just finished creating it when, along with everyone, we had to radically alter plans. It seems a shame to waste some of the great stories that we reported on during this past six months, so last week we shared an article on the disability and Census-related events our team and advocates participated in during early spring.
This week we introduce you to Karlee, who told us how much she loves her job at Stop & Shop. She's looking forward to returning soon!
The Arc NEWS
"I'm all about organization!"
Karlee has a plan, and she is sticking to it
Karlee is in The Arc’s Education program in Danielson, which provides additional programming for young people after they graduate high school until age 21. She’ll be 21 next year, but unlike many people her age, this change doesn’t bother her; she has a plan—and it’s pretty extensive.
“I love my job, so I’m hoping that as soon as I graduate from this program, I can work more hours. I have to make more money because there’s a list of things I want to do.” She isn’t kidding—she really does have a list.
“Well, first, my dad’s girlfriend and I are trying to convince my dad to go to Disney World. He doesn’t like to fly, but we’re slowly wearing him down. I’ve read a lot of books about Disney World, and while Mickey Mouse and Goofy are okay, I really have to see the inside of that castle. Seriously.”
But the plan doesn’t stop with saving money.“You have to be in shape to see everything there, and I’m trying hard to do that. I have a Fitbit and my goal is to get to 20,000 steps a day. I know that’s a lot, but yesterday at work I got to 15,000—that’s seven miles!”
“Right now I’m working three days a week at Stop & Shop in Putnam. I work in a bunch of different departments. I help with bagging, and scanning barcodes, and cleaning up spills—the pickle juice spill was the worst! I also empty the bottle return containers—that’s not a problem because we have the same thing at The Arc’s Redemption Center so I’m really good at that. Sometimes customers forget their shopping bags and since we don’t have plastic anymore I’ll help them take their groceries out to their car and then bring the cart back for them.
Karlee, working on one of her schedules. “It’s important to keep track of what you have to do, so you can do all of it!”
“I like The Arc because things are very well organized.” She nods emphatically. “I like to know what’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen. No surprises!” Karlee has lots of friends at The Arc, and she’s pretty much in demand. “I think I’m a good friend. I like to help people. I’m a good listener—and I’m all about organization—as you can tell! So people will ask me to help them sign up for things, or remind them when events are going to happen, or else I help them register for activities and things.”
Karlee also takes advantage of some of the health and fitness activities offered at The Arc. “We go to the Y and
to the treadmill, which I like. The Zumba class, though—
I can’t keep up with the teacher! I also go to a health class with my mom, and we’re both trying to eat more healthy foods. Like, we both love pasta but we’re trying to substitute more vegetables. We make lists together now, so that we can plan all our meals ahead of time.”
“My supervisors at Stop & Shop are really great. Whenever I need help they’re always there—like when I have trouble with the scanning gun—sometimes it’s a pain in the butt.” She giggles.
Karlee hopes to live away from home someday, “but I know that costs a lot of money, so that’s why I need to work more hours.” Right now she lives with her mom, “but all my family is nearby. My brother and sister-in law-are having a baby girl in March. I’m so excited! I hope they name her Hazel because I really like that name.”