The Kraft Family has made a $125,000 gift to support Northeast Arc’s Campaign for Linking Lives. The donation was announced by Robert Kraft, Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group, and Josh Kraft, President, Kraft Family Philanthropies, in a video message recorded for Northeast Arc’s virtual Evening of Changing Lives Gala.
The $125,000 gift will support Northeast Arc’s first-ever capital campaign, a $3 million fundraising effort for the Center for Linking Lives at the Liberty Tree Mall. The gift comes in the form of a challenge grant; Northeast Arc will receive the funding once it receives a matching amount of gifts from other donors.
“Our family has a history of promoting social equity. Working with strong partners, we seek to provide opportunities and supports to individuals and families across our communities. It is of the utmost importance to us that social equity is realized by people of all abilities,” said Robert and Josh Kraft in their recorded statement. “The Center for Linking Lives aligns with this mission, and we hope other donors will join us in supporting this innovative and transformational project which will help provide the greatest outcomes for people with disabilities.”
Opened in late 2020, the Center for Linking Lives is the new home for all of Northeast Arc’s community-facing programs. The agency revitalized 26,000 square feet of previously unused retail space to provide a range of services, including: support for families who have children diagnosed with autism or other intellectual disabilities, early intervention, residential and health services, supported employment, an assistive technology lending library, and skills training. The Center promotes community redevelopment and environmental sustainability while serving as a national model for other organizations seeking to enhance inclusion for people with disabilities in underutilized community settings, such as malls.
In order to fund the construction of the Center for Linking Lives, Northeast Arc launched its first-ever capital campaign in July 2020.
“The traditional capital campaign model is to raise money before embarking on a project, but as an agency we determined the need for such an inclusive space was so great that we decided to begin construction simultaneously with the campaign,” said Jo Ann Simons, President and CEO of Northeast Arc. “We are grateful that the Kraft Family recognizes the importance of the Center for Linking Lives. Their support, and gifts from future donors, will help us as we create a vibrant community where individuals with disabilities can reach their full potential while leading fulfilling lives alongside their peers.”
The Northeast Arc has raised more than $2 million toward its $3 million goal. Those interested in supporting the project can give by visiting linkingliveschallenge.org.