Many services have been interrupted during this time of national struggle. Who is to be identified as “essential“ has stirred debates. There is no conjecture that the disabled have ongoing needs, and a government shutdown will not stymie obligation to our most at-risk citizens.
Executive Director at Opportunities, Inc. Sherry Young said, “Our mission is to empower individuals to attain a full life in the community.” Adding, that these individuals consist of children and adults with disabilities who require a wide range of services.
Opportunities’ has the main campus for children that focuses on early intervention and school readiness. They also have a residential campus that houses adults, offering job training, contract employment, community volunteering, and activities with the Texarkana Library and TRAHC.
“In some way, shape, or form everything has been interrupted by the COVID-19 virus,” said Young. The main campus has been shuttered since March 16th. The residential campus has all the adult clients sheltering-in-place, increasing the need for staff, food, and care.
Dueling state regulations have complicated Opportunities’ ability to serve, as Texas has a shelter in place order and Arkansas does not. “It’s very tricky for us because while we reside physically in Texas, several of our programs are Arkansas funded for Arkansas residents who come across the state line for service. Arkansas has said that we can still serve our children, but we can’t because we are physically in Texas,” stated Young.
Opportunities Inc. is waiting on word from Gov. Abbott about how Texas will proceed. They are still providing services to adult clients directly and have implemented Teletherapy to help their young clients virtually.
Development Director Rebekah Drennon spoke about future plans, “We’re hoping to still have our golf tournament in September. It’s our major fundraiser of the year that brings in the most contributions of any fundraiser we have. So that’s still in the works, it’s on September 14th at Texarkana Country Club.” Adding that anyone interested in corporate sponsorships contact here or call 903.791.2270.
Current circumstances caused Opportunities Inc. to cancel it’s first-ever wellness trail color run, but they do plan to reschedule. Drennon is hopeful, due to the positive community response, that the run will take place next year.
Prior to the outbreak, Opportunities had already lost $330,000 in funding because of cuts to Medicaid, according to Young.
“The community has supported Opportunities for fifty-three years, and this support is more important now than ever before so that we can continue to serve Texarkana and the surrounding communities.“
The public can Donate HERE. https://www.oppinc.org/donate/