The Arc provides ‘Jewels of Hope’ for Shore Cancer Center patients

Pictured from left are Edna Long, family support associate at The Arc; George Shorter, Joseph Johnston, administrative director of oncology services at Shore Cancer Center; Leah Foster and Lori D’Alessio, community coordinator at The Arc.


EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Leah Foster of Galloway Township and George Shorter of Estell Manor are two teens who attend The Arc of Atlantic County’s Saturday Program, held at The Arc’s main location in Egg Harbor Township.

Recently, they presented handmade gifts to Joseph Johnston, administrative director of oncology services at Shore Cancer Center, to bring hope to breast cancer patients.

“Our Saturday Program students wanted to do something to show their support and brighten the spirits of women who are being treated for breast cancer,” said Kathi Lentz, operations director for The Arc. “When Lori D’Alessio, community coordinator, approached me about the children’s idea to create pink 'Jewels of Hope' using plastic recycled bottles and other craft materials, we were inspired by their thoughtfulness and reached out to our community partners at Shore Medical Center to spread a little hope and cheer.”

Johnston said the gifts will go a long way toward helping patients feel better.

“While we provide many comforts to our patients undergoing breast cancer treatment, beautiful and thoughtful gifts like these handmade accessories from The Arc children show that others care about them, too,” Johnston said. “The positive feelings generated by this type of moral support from our community can really make a difference in a person’s treatment outcomes.”

The Arc’s Saturday Respite Program is for students ages 5 to 21, with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They meet weekly to participate in arts and crafts, read, watch movies, and learn computer skills. The children also enjoy other recreational activities that allow them to have fun while forging friendships and learning to volunteer their time and skills for community organizations.

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Email Laura Stetser at or call 609-601-5194. Connect with her on social media @EHTCurrent or @LauraStetser or @TheMomsBeat. ​