As each year comes to a close, I think about how to measure it and I think of the beginning lyrics of Seasons of Love from the musical Rent:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love?

Here at the Northeast Arc, I take time to measure our year and there is a lot to measure. We have had many successes. The most important one is that we changed lives 525,600 minutes this year!

Here are some others:
• Our families consistently write to me about how our staff have changed the lives of their children and their own lives.
• Named #2 in the annual list of the Top 10 Women Led Businesses in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe Magazine and the Commonwealth Institute.
• The Arc Tank 2.0 gave out $200,000 to three positive and disruptive ideas in virtual reality, a transportation app and a First Responder training program. All will improve the lives of persons with autism and related
• Early Intervention – Cape Ann moved to spacious and modern space at the Cummings Center in Beverly.
• Breaking Grounds Café in Peabody trained and placed over 15 individuals in competitive jobs.
• Our Black Box Theater opened in Peabody, providing a home for our Spotlight Program and another training spot for our young adults.
• Heritage Shredding expanded into bigger space in Danvers, offering more employment opportunities.
• Our Changing Lives Gala was held in Boston for the first time, attracting many new supporters to our work and the featured models that we support.
• Discover & Design was created for young adults who love art and want to spend their days immersed in it.
• We purchased a house that will be become a home for young people with Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic condition and a new service area for us.
• Our Recreation Department sent teams to the Special Olympics Massachusetts State Games.
• Our Residential Department covered 475,295½ hours of regular shifts.
• The Autism Support Center reached out to over 3,000 families and professionals with The Spectrum newsletter.
• Nine hundred and thirty families participated in ASC-sponsored events and activities.
• The brokers of the Children’s Autism Medicaid Waiver provided over 1,200 hours of support and assistance to families in the program.
• The Merrimack Valley Empowerment Series provided 6 different trainings to a total of 105 Spanish-speaking families in Lawrence.
• Forty-seven families attended workshops offered by our Autism Support Center’s newest support group for Arab families in Malden.
• Our Touch to Talk Program offered free training on AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) to 75 parents and professionals and provided free iPads and applications to 27 children in three communities in the Northeast.
• The Autism Support Center’s Adult Specialist provided services through events, support groups and community-based activities to 1,101 participants.
• The Family Resource Center offered services, supports and events to 532 families.
• Advocacy Services worked with and supported 75 families this year.
• The Autism ABA program provided 25,884 hours of ABA services to children over 3 years old.
• The Building Blocks program provided 16,670 hours of services for children under 3 years old.
• The Spotlight Program (a social skills program) provided services to 105 children and adults with autism.

We at Northeast Arc look forward to 2019 and continuing to discover abilities and opportunities for the people we serve.