Families with loved ones in organizations like the Arc of East Ascension in Gonzales have been without their extended family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there is a way to make an impact when things do return to some normalcy.

“I miss the center and the people,” Micheal Allen said. “I miss seeing everybody at the center.”

Sharon Morris with the Arc of East Ascension added, “They call us and tell us how much they miss us and how much they love us, and we really do miss them too. It’s like a dead zone.”

The Arc of East Ascension is a valuable resource for dozens of clients. But the pandemic has temporarily shut down the center and slowed its mission of helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Sharon Morris added, “If we don’t ask the community for support, they may think we don’t need support. But we really do need the community’s support here. We’re trying to keep the doors open, we’re trying to make it through the different phases that we’re going through. And without our clients coming, the participants in our program, we don’t get any funding.”

Clients like Michael Allen, who is doing is part to help the Arc this fall, and pay it forward to those who have helped him.

“I really love to dance, and I’ve been dancing for a long time,” Allen said. “Here I am helping to raise money for the Dancing for a Cause, it’s like a little contest to help make the Arc better.”

Eric Carter, Allen’s stepfather added, “I see that he’s matured a lot since he’s been in this program, it helps him tremendously.”

Voting for this year’s Virtual Dancing for a Cause kicked off last week and will stay open through the end of the month.

“To help raise money for the Arc and this cause is awesome,” Carter said.

Micheal Allen added, “You can vote for anybody, including me of course.”