BERLIN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A Camden County nonprofit is helping enrich the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by helping them form a community.
The Arc of Camden County, which has its headquarters in Berlin, New Jersey, has been putting on events and organizing activities for hundreds of community members with disabilities for decades.
Its goal is to celebrate each person's abilities.
"To make the world a little happier and better and safer for people with IDD," explained Kara Badyna, a volunteer.
IDD refers to intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Speaking from a bench in "The Garden of Memories," a garden on the Berlin campus that honors those who have made a difference in the life of someone with an intellectual disability, Badyna talked about how important it is to provide services to families.
"We put the parties on for folks in our community with special needs and we also give them opportunities to compete," she said.
Badyna volunteers to spend time with her brother. Grace Trant helps organize and coach softball games and bowling outings for Mike and his friends.
"I played softball, baseball, I like bowling," Mike said.
"The smiles on our adult's faces just bring more joy to our hearts than I think to theirs," said Trant.
If you ask the Trants, being part of The Arc has not only changed Mike's life, it's helped his mom too. She's met an entire community of other caregivers who have quickly become like family.
"We're able to enjoy time with his family and his friends. A big part of his life is our circle," she said.
It's a circle of friendship where the greatest lesson is that everyone has abilities worth recognizing.
"There's this tendency to celebrate the successes of one another as much as they celebrate their own successes," said Badyna. "And I often step back and if all of us without IDD, all of us in the whole community could model our behavior after that, it would make this world a better place."