For Immediate Release:

July 7, 2016


Anna Adams-Sarthou (Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee)
Lisa Marie Arieno (The Arc of Somerset)


Branchburg, NJ – The Arc of Somerset County, the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention, and AT&T today announced a unique partnership to provide opportunities to members of the disabled community to participate in the preparations for the Convention. Thanks to a grant from AT&T, individuals served by The Arc of Somerset County’s Branchburg Adult Training Center will be assembling about 10,000 gift bags for delegates coming to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention.
“Throughout its Convention-planning efforts, the Host Committee has been committed to diversity and inclusion, and we are excited to continue that commitment by providing those supported by The Arc with opportunities to be involved in this historic event,” said Kevin Washo, Executive Director of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee. “These gift bags will be among the first things that delegates receive when they arrive in Philadelphia, and we’re thrilled that, thanks to the support of AT&T, our friends in the disabled community will be able to personally assemble them as we help welcome Convention guests to Philadelphia.”
 “The Arc of Somerset County currently partners with 20 local organizations to create and develop employment opportunities for persons we serve. We presently support 215 adults at their jobs at our Adult Training Centers,” stated Gary Kummer, Director of Employment Services. In addition, The Arc of Somerset County is also actively involved in supporting individuals at job sites in the community.
More than 20 items will be included in each gift bag, which will comprise trinkets, swag and information about the Greater Philadelphia region. AT&T partnered with The Arc for this project to provide opportunities to those with mental and physical disabilities and enable them to play an important role in the Convention and participate in the Host Committee’s preparations for the event.
“For many years AT&T has supported The Arc of Somerset County. They’ve never disappointed us,” said Tom Brooks, Vice President of External Affairs for AT&T. “The quality of work and dedication of the staff and the workers at the employment centers is unsurpassed. We value our partnership with them and appreciate their eagerness to take on large projects like those involved in the upcoming conventions. It’s an honor to be able to offer meaningful projects that provide adults with disabilities the opportunity to work and thrive. The work offered by The Arc of Somerset County affords adults with disabilities a sense of purpose and integrity. Those benefits are the reason AT&T is honored to support this respected organization.”
Items in the bags include:
  • AFT church fan
  • Al Dia DNC Supplement
  • Amalgamated Bank Hot Coffee Cup
  • Anthem back of phone card holder
  • AT&T Lapel Pin
  • AT&T Rain Poncho
  • CSPAN blue metal water bottle
  • Comcast 3x5 wifi cards
  • Philadelphia 2016 Donkeys Around Town 5x8 postcard
  • Philadelphia 2016 Luggage Tags
  • Philadelphia 2016 Coupon Book
  • EOS Sweet Mint Spheres
  • Bag of Hippeas 
  • K'NEX Building Set
  • Jefferson Hospital Urgent Care Flyer
  • Jefferson Health Urgent Care 6x9 DNC Card
  • Just Born Berry Blast blue Mike & Ike's
  • National Constitution Center Pocket Constitution
  • Philadelphia Labor Union Entertainment Guide
  • Philadelphia Boys' Choir CD
  • PHLCVB Pins
  • PHLCVB/Visit Philadelphia Delegate Pocket Guide
  • Rothman Sport Clip Basketball
  • SpeakEasy Political Notebook
  • Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau Luggage Tag
  • Visit Philadelphia Magnetic Photo Frames
  • XFinity Live Coupons
  • GoPhilaGo Maps
“This particular contract is extremely exciting for the individuals with disabilities we serve because it connects them to the community on a much larger scale at a national level,” said Michelle McMahon, Associate Executive Director for The Arc of Somerset County.
Currently, approximately 33% of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States are underemployed according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The Arc of Somerset County is proud to have this partnership with AT&T and all employment service contracts that keep our adults actively engaged in productive work within our community.
The Democratic National Convention will take place July 25-28, 2016 in Philadelphia.