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“Who” Cares ? - Kim Plattie

KimKim Plattie first visited The Arc Rockland while in high school. The experience set her on the road to her career.

“My Child Development Class visited Prime Time for Kids, and I fell in love with the place,” she says. “I like to give back in life, to help others, and I just knew that I wanted to work for this agency.”

True to her word, Ms. Plattie began her employment with The Arc six years ago, first in the Recreation Department, then with Residential Services, and now as a Direct Support Professional with the agency’s community hubs. Initially, she oversaw a group of people for whom The Arc’s Glaze Pottery and Art Studio in Orangeburg is home base. More recently she has been working with adults at the Arc’s hub located at the Vision Sports Club in Pearl River.

“My goal is to make every day interesting and productive for the people involved,” explains Ms. Plattie. Among other activities, the Orangeburg group volunteers at The New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus, NJ where they fold boxes for the pharmacy to dispense medications. “Each time we were there, the volunteers folded 1500 boxes,” she recalls. “They were named Volunteer of the Month by the Medical Center and were featured in the Medical Center’s magazine.”

Fitness is a common interest among people enrolled in The Arc hub at Vision Sports Center. “Members of that group take classes in yoga, Zumba and cardio fitness,” says Ms. Plattie. “Aside from that, we visit the gym two or three times a week.” In addition to their focus on exercise and healthful living, the participants have a common interest in animals. “We visit animal hospitals in Pomona, Stony Point and Valley Cottage to pick up recycling which we redeem for cash and donate to the Puppy Rescue Mission."

Ms. Plattie expresses the same hopes for the participants in The Arc hubs as she does for her own family. “I want everyone to learn and grow and to be contributing members of the community,” she says. “I want them to gain new skills and to be able to integrate the skills into their daily lives.”

Some experiences have a lasting impact on the individuals and on Ms. Plattie. She recalls the time when members of a group were attending Successful Learning Center (SLC) classes on the grounds of Dominican College. “One woman burst into tears the first time she was there because she never thought she would be able to attend college.”

Helping people learn to advocate for themselves is high on the list of Ms. Plattie’s priorities. “I want each person to stand up for his or her own rights,” she explains. “I also want them to set realistic goals. Some people were not able to make purchases on their own because they were not comfortable counting money. So we worked on that and now they can shop, compare prices and budget.”

On the homefront, Ms. Plattie enjoys cooking, fitness and exercise, attending concerts and “making memories with my seven-year-old daughter,” she says. She continues to work with The Arc’s Recreation Department on evenings and weekends, and she helps with after-hours cooking and fitness classes provided as part of Arc’s Supplemental Services program.

“It is a pleasure to see the way Kim interacts with the people who receive services from The Arc,” states Jodi Taylor-Getz, Director of Day Habilitation. “She so enjoys being with them.”

Ms. Plattie confirms it. “I don’t view this as work,” says Ms. Plattie. “I genuinely love what I do.”

 

The Arc Rockland has partnered with the Empire State Purchasing Group. Vendors may submit bids electronically. Please visit https://www.bidnetdirect.com/new-york/arc-of-rockland for RFP and bidding opportunities.

Thank You to The Arc Rockland’s 2021 Corporate Sponsors:

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