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Snohomish Fun Run

Chase the Grinch 5K 2021 Community Inclusion Story The Arc Amplified

Family Fun in Snohomish:
Chase the Grinch Outta Snohomish Fun Run

10 year-old JoJo and 11 year-old L.J. are brothers and best friends. This active duo are both students attending their school district’s online academy. Mom, Sherri, says virtual school has allowed her sons to catch up academically and thrive. But, Mom is always looking for inclusive opportunities to provide her sons with new experiences in the community.

2021 Dec Run LJ and JoJo 3“I often check The Arc’s newsletter for things to do. In December it mentioned this run in Snohomish.” Sherri registered JoJo and L.J. for the Kids Dash at the Chase the Grinch Outta Snohomish Fun Run. It was further than the boys had ever run, but the experience paid off. The boys’ participation earned them some racer swag, including a Santa hat, bib with their registration number, finisher’s medal, and snacks. They even got a personal visit and photo-op with the Grinch!  Sherri said their family will definitely look for other local Fun Runs to participate in because “it was so fun!!”

When not racing, JoJo and L.J. are building their skills at boxing classes. Mom enjoys the boys’ boxing lessons because it gives her a little respite and creates time for her to work out at the boxing studio’s onsite gym.

The Arc of Snohomish County’s Recreation Guide, Facebook page, and Arc Happenings emails are great resources for connecting with things to do.

Or contact The Arc’s Community Outreach Coordinator, Teri McKeehan at or 425-258-2459 x108 to help your family connect with inclusive recreational opportunities near you.

Don’t hesitate to try something new; you may discover a new hobby or hidden talent!


~Submitted by Alaina Kube, Parent to Parent Coordinator

A Self-Care Support Group for Parents & Family Caregivers

Caregiver Connections January Followup The Arc Amplified

Caregiver Connections:

A Self-Care Support Group for Parents & Family Caregivers — January 2022

On Tuesday, January 18th, The Arc of Snohomish County launched a new support group for parents and family caregivers of children with developmental disabilities and complex medical needs.

It is a “self-care focused” support group for caregivers, which will be held every 3rd Tuesday of the month, from 7 PM to 8 PM, via Zoom.

Each month, a new self-care strategy for caregivers will be introduced. These self-care practices will align with a monthly theme. These practices will vary widely as one of the primary goals of the Caregiver Connections group is to support parents and family caregivers in identifying beneficial self-care practices. What works well for one person will not work for everyone, so, in self-care as in life, we strive to maintain an open mind and try new things.

Following the initial portion of each meeting focused on learning and self-care, the group will then transition into an open discussion about self-care, current stressors and other challenges facing caregivers.

The topic of the “Caregiver Connections” January kick-off meeting was: A New Year’s RESET. The meeting provided a time for discussion on resetting our caregiver minds, our goals and our priorities, in order to step forward, refreshed and with renewed hope, into the year ahead.

The self-care strategy introduced at this meeting was “The Power of Personal Mantras.” A mantra is a positive, affirming statement that, when repeated frequently, can serve to inspire, encourage and guide behaviors and actions in a way desired by the individual. Research shows that Mantra Meditation may support family caregivers through stress reduction. It can also serve as a continuing source of positive thought and motivation. This is based on the idea that “words have power.”

At the January “Caregiver Connections” meeting, the group learned how mantras can be found or created. (Click here to learn how you can create your own personal mantra.)

Self-care focused mantras for family caregivers may include:

  • My personal needs and goals are a priority.
  • I will show up for myself no matter what the day brings.
  • My health is important and impacts everything else.
  • I am the best parent and caregiver when I take care of myself.
  • I will move more and make things happen today.

Discussion on the topic of “self-care” and “resetting” our mental focus for the New Year can center on questions such as:

  • What are you doing this month to reset your energy and center yourself for the year ahead?
  • What caregiving goals do you have for 2022?
  • How will you prioritize your needs, in balance with other caregiving responsibilities?

Before closing the meeting, information about a second, “take-home” self-care strategy was offered: New Year Vision Boards.

Vision Boards are a flexible tool that serve as a visual reminder of the goals and desires of the individual who created the board. They are an excellent project to develop at the beginning of each year to capture your goals and hopes for the next twelve months. Vision boards can be created by hand, using various art supplies, printed clipart or collage materials from magazines; or, with the assistance of “Vision Board” apps. (Click here to learn more about the benefits of vision boards.)

The next “Caregiver Connections” meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 15th, at 7 PM. The topic is: Reclaiming Control of Your Story. REGISTER HERE to join other parents and family caregivers for a discussion on how to take back control of your schedule, your goals and your personal needs. Contact Whitney Stohr at if you have questions about this program.


Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact:

Easy, Everyday Strategies for Physical Fitness

39. Resolutions for the Busy Caregiver Easy Fitness

New Year Resolutions for the Busy Parent-Caregiver:

Easy, Everyday Strategies for Physical Fitness

Aw, yes, the often dreaded, sometimes cringe-worthy, “I will finally get into shape this year” New Year’s Resolution.

We all know it well. We may have made that resolution for ourselves at some point throughout the years.

I have.

In fact, I make some version of that resolution every year.

My inner dialogue is constantly reviewing that long list of tasks I really need to accomplish in order to take better care of my personal health and wellbeing. It’s long and, admittedly, checking-off tasks on that list is slow work because… well, I am a caregiver.

You may be too.

And, if you are a caregiver, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

And yet, we still make those health resolutions…

AND, we absolutely SHOULD make those health resolutions. KEEP MAKING THOSE RESOLUTIONS!

Do whatever it is you need to do to take care of your own health. Being a caregiver cannot be an excuse to ignore your own health needs. (That is a personal mantra I repeat to myself every day.)

Will we get into such amazing shape this year that we decide to register for next year’s marathon circuit? Let’s be honest. The answer to that question is a solid “Probably not,” bordering on “No way! Not in a million years.”

(If you do: Seriously – I will be your biggest fan-girl! Please send pictures!)

BUT, can you incorporate a few new activities into your daily routine that promote activity, movement and personal wellbeing? Absolutely! That is an entirely achievable resolution.

Here are some ideas for the busy parent-caregiver:

1.  Play Music During Household Chores: Housework is constant! As parents and caregivers, we have already integrated household chores into our daily routines. So, make the decision to maximize your time and energy by turning housework into up-beat movement. Turn up the tunes and dance your way through chores. Shake it while you wash the dishes. Salsa while folding laundry. Give your best two-step with a broom as your partner. (Try THIS playlist of “Housework Hits!”)

2.  Stretch During Cartoons: A cartoon or movie break for the kids is also a slow-down opportunity for parents and caregivers. Cartoon time is a time for caregivers to. Get. Work. Done! Take advantage of those daily cartoons for a 5-minute stretch break. Take deep, slow breaths and focus on each stretch. (Try these!) The simple practice of daily stretching is fantastic for both mind and body.

3.  Plan a Daily 2-Song Dance Break: Include the kids! Set a “dance party” alarm on your phone and turn the songs up when you hear the tone. Get your groove thing on and have fun. Even in short intervals, dancing offers many health benefits. It is also fun and can be re-energizing for caregivers in need of a mid-afternoon boost. Start with a dance party that lasts for two songs. Commit to a daily “dance it out” time. (Try THIS “Family Dance Party” playlist, or THIS playlist for all my fellow Millennial parents out there.)

4.  Take a Brisk, 20-Minute Walk: If you have a schedule that allows for a consistent break in caregiving duties, getting into the habit of walking is a great way to improve your physical health, clear your mind and reset your energy for the day. Start slow, but commit yourself to getting outdoors every day.

5.  Get Pumped with a 10-Minute Power Sesh: Find yourself a pair of light hand-weights — maybe 8 or 10 pounds — and carve out a 10-minute time in your day when you can focus on simple repetitions. (Click here for a list of easy exercises.) Maybe this is 10 minutes every day before you shower, or before you make lunch for the kids, or right after you drop them off at school… Whatever works best for your schedule, block off those 10 minutes for yourself.

Perhaps some of these ideas will resonate with you. Others may not. Maybe you have a few simple strategies of your own that have sat on your “Personal Health To-Do List” for months and months. Whatever strategies you choose — Make 2022 the year that your daily, caregiving routine also prioritizes your personal care needs.


Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact:

Community Sharing: The Keogh Kids

Community Sharing Keogh Kids The Arc Amplified

Community Sharing:

The Keogh Kids Enjoy The Arc Amplified!! Book Read-Aloud: “Can I Join Your Club?”

Thank you to the Keogh family of Lynnwood for sharing this photo of their kids Luca and Caia watching our recently posted READ-ALOUD of the book: “Can I Join Your Club?”


THE ARC AMPLIFIED would love to share your story! Do you have a story of inclusion you want to share? Are you leading local advocacy efforts? Has your family or loved one benefited from activities or programs in Snohomish County that are designed to advance community inclusion?

Please share your story! We want to know!

Email Whitney Stohr, Parent to Parent Coordinator, at, or call 425-258-2459 x106.

Housing Considerations and Helpful Resources for People with Disabilities

Learning About Housing Resources The Arc Amplified

Housing Considerations and Helpful Resources for People with Disabilities

In this post, we seek to highlight some helpful resources for individuals with disabilities, their care-partners and families, who want to better understand housing policies and the options available to people with disabilities. The resources below may be especially helpful for those who are new to the world of disability and housing and/or the vast array of issues (e.g. finances, caregiving) that can impact available housing options and financial support.

The Arc of Snohomish County


Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)

Community Residential Services for Adults 

Information: Community First Choice (CFC) & Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS)  

Community Homes

A nonprofit organization that provides, promotes and sustains exceptional community-based housing for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Informational Webinars: Housing Readiness Workshops 

Washington State Father’s Network

A nonprofit organization connecting and supporting the fathers and male caregivers of children with disabilities and complex medical needs.

On March 1st, 2022, the Father’s Network will host a webinar/workshop on the topic “Planning for Housing: Accessing Benefits, Roommate Matching, and Shared Living Development Services.” Register to attend this workshop, and others, at

Open Doors for Multicultural Families

A nonprofit organization providing culturally and linguistically relevant information, services and programming for diverse families of persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Access information, or connect with Open Doors staff, at

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The Arc office is open by appointment only

Monday - Friday from 10am - 3pm

127 E. Intercity Ave. Suite C
Everett, WA 98208

(425) 258-2459