Lupus is a mysterious disease. From the time someone first notices symptoms, it takes nearly six years for them to receive a lupus diagnosis. The key to preventing long-term consequences of the disease is early diagnosis — and that only comes with greater awareness of the disease.
This year, The Arbors’ nonprofit organization The Arbors Gives Back is focusing its efforts on creating community awareness of the disease; raising money in support of the Lupus Foundation of America’s mission to prevent, treat, and cure lupus; and celebrating and commemorating lives touched by lupus.
In May, which is Lupus Awareness Month, The Arbors Gives Back hosted a 10K and 2-mile family walk in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. More than 150 community members participated, and the event raised over $15,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America.
“We had so many families come out to support people they knew who suffer from the disease,” says Sara Robertson, co-owner of The Arbors. “The feedback has been beyond positive, and we have been asked numerous times to do this event again.”
A History of Giving
As a family-owned and -operated business, The Arbors is committed to welcoming residents into the family. Founded in 2008, The Arbors Gives Back has reflected that mission by raising funds to serve the needs of the local community.
“Our focus is to raise money for causes and foundations that our employees and company feel are either meaningful to an individual or within our industry,” Robertson says.
Since its founding, The Arbors Gives Back has raised more than $110,550 for the Alzheimer’s Association. Last year, the nonprofit held a Bucks for BRCA fundraiser to support life-saving research at the BRCA Foundation. The Arbors Gives Back also regularly raises funds for local organizations, including Meals on Wheels, homeless and women’s shelters, and senior centers.
“The communities we participate in always get very involved and excited along with us as we work our events,” Robertson says.
The Fight Against Lupus
This year, The Arbors Gives Back focused its efforts on fundraising for The Lupus Foundation of America. Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that attacks different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat. Research on lupus remains underfunded relative to its scope and damage.
There is no cure for lupus, and the treatment is extremely limited and has not changed in the past 30 years. There is still no answer as to who will get this disease and why.
“We have employees who suffer from this debilitating disease, and we felt strongly about contributing to the Lupus Foundation of America in hopes they find a cure for the next generation,” Robertson says.
The Make Your Mark 10K & 2-mile Family Walk featured an officially timed 10K, awards, raffles, vendors, face painting, and a DJ. “It was a huge success for our first 10K event,” Robertson says.
The Desire to Serve
A big portion of The Arbors Gives Back is the holiday charity Arbors Believes. Each year, the nonprofit holds a calendar sale, with all proceeds going to The Arbors Believes. Through The Arbors Believes, each Arbors assisted living and memory care community chooses a local community charity to donate clothes, food, and gifts.
“We believe the desire to serve is innately human and knows no age and that our residents receive a sense of purpose and well-being when they can affect positive change,” Robertson says. “The Arbors Gives Back echoes The Arbors’ mission to serve the needs of our residents by helping them to serve the needs of the community.”
To learn more about why The Arbors is the provider of choice for all assisted living and memory care communities in the area, download our eBook Why We Chose The Arbors.