Civitans advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their fullest potential through the classroom, job experiences, and other continued learning.


Historically, individuals with I/DD have often been excluded from their communities. However, they experience a number of benefits when fully included, and others in the community do too. Civitans have long believed in the value of inclusion, starting with their pursuit to start special education programs in schools. This is a value which continues to this day through club projects across the world, like contributing to the creation of accessible parks and playgrounds, and pulling out the power tools to build ramps so those using mobility devices can have easier access to their homes. It is our organization’s goal to support good quality of life for all through accessibility and inclusion. 

Civitans can enter the Family & Community Support space through a variety of impactful service projects and activities. Here are just a few examples: 

  • Host respite nights or events for family members or caregivers of those with I/DD
  • Host dances, parties or special events for those living in group homes or participating in day programs
  • Identify community organizations and agencies who support those with I/DD, ask them what their greatest needs are, and how your club can best make a long-term impact
  • In partnership with mental health professionals, start or host a support group for family members or caregivers of those with I/DD
  • Create and deliver care packages to family members and caregivers of those with I/DD – group home staff are often overlooked as essential workers
  • Adopt a resident in a group home – many older residents no longer have family active in their lives


Palmetto, South Carolina

The Palmetto Civitans have a long-standing relationship with their local ABA Therapy Clinic, and serve them in many ways throughout the year. One of the ways the club members help out is by providing childcare during the evenings so that parents can attend the training courses that the clinic provides. Club members play games with the children in attendance as well as help out the ABA staff in other ways during these events. Because of this volunteer work that the Palmetto Civitans provide, parents are able to attend their training sessions without the distractions of their children so that they can learn the tools they need to provide the best care possible for their child(ren) with an intellectual or developmental disability.

The club has also done some projects for families with children with I/DD, including sponsored a family outing to the local Corn Maze, which also has games, a pumpkin patch and outdoor toys. They covered the cost and spent time with the families. The South Carolina State Museum offers a special rate one Sunday each month, so members sponsored admission for families and spent time with them in the museum, and sponsored a private play time for a group of families at a local sensory gym. The Palmetto Club is committed to trying to find ways to give families support to make fun family experiences easier for them.

Aurora, Colorado

The arc Ambassador Civitan Club was formed by local Civitans to provide the local I/DD community, who also are employed at the arc Thrift Stores, the opportunity to give back to their community in ways that will impact the area. Club members take on leadership roles within the club and have a voice in decisions being made. Some of the club’s projects include gathering canned goods and volunteering at their local homeless shelter, making doggie blankets and toys for a local non-profit, making ornaments for residents in long-term health facilities, and serve as pen pals for residents of various senior living centers. The club also conducts fundraisers where the proceeds benefit their agency, the Arc of Aurora.

Palmetto, South Carolina

The Palmetto Civitan Club has identified and developed a relationship with a local group home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, showing their support like family members, and showing their support for the community agency. The club adopted two of the group homes, one with four women and one with four men. They include the residents in activities and outings including a picnic in the park, hosting a Christmas party with gifts donated by  club members and Junior Civitan club members, and most recently we’ve delivering  “parties in a box” during Covid. The club also made sure to drop off some bouquets of fresh flowers from their flower sale fundraiser to brighten the home.  Emily Wright, Club President, says “we have a relationship with them now, and we look forward to when we can spend more time with the residents and the staff.”