There is no organization that I know of like 'L'Arche Greater Washington DC".. Their witness daily is a testament to the passion of the commitment of the organization...It is not just the volunteers or the staff bit the entire community including the core residents that make L'Arche uniquely different than so many other wonderful organizations. I am all in with them and I believe that anyone who encounters this organization will be all in and never be the same..With gratitude, Jack McHale
I first experienced L'Arche 20 years ago as a reading tutor for one of the core members. It wasn't long before they began inviting me to stay for dinner and eventually I became an assistant. The two years I spent with the community inspired me to become a licensed creative arts therapist and to this day my work is strongly informed by my time with this remarkable group of people. In all of my years working in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, L'Arche continues to stand above the rest. I have never experienced an organization that tends to the well being of its clients and staff with as much integrity and compassion as I found at L'Arche.
I love L'Arche and L'Arche D.C. I am from L'Arche Cleveland and when we get together with other L'Arche communities in the Eastern Region of the USA we always have such a wonderful time as we celebrate each other and the gifts that each person brings. It is so wonderful to see the coremembers interacting with each other. They know one another well. I am grateful to be part of L'Arche.
I visited L'Arche D.C. after my son, who goes to college at CUA, became friends with of the assistants. As a result I visited the L'Arches home on 3 different occasions while visiting D.C. The home, its residents and assistants are made from love. They truly live as a family. It takes a special calling for those who volunteer. They are selfless individuals who truly live to serve others. God bless L'Arche for the opportunity if gives its residents.
I was invited to a L'Arche event by a colleague working with people with disabilities. What first got my attention was that the members of l'Arche workforce and core members operated the event together. The mutual respect among all L'Arche members demonstrated the core value of mutual relationship.
The welcoming to L'Arche was and is authentic, warm and open. Invitations to dinner at the house and community gatherings further grew my relationships with L'Arche. Never have I experienced such truth in an organization living out its mission in the world. I donate to L'Arche because my values of respect and dignity of people living in relationship with each other are active, growing and constantly nurtured there.
I don't know how to aptly describe the wonder and beauty of L'Arche. It truly changed my life and I watched it transform individuals, neighborhoods, programs and other volunteers for the 2 and a half years I lived in one of the homes as a volunteer. As a social worker in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, I can firmly state that there is nothing like it for people with disabilities. It is a place of love, dedication, selflessness, and commitment.
L'Arche is an outstanding & inspiring nonprofit agency. I know members of the community (key word!) through meeting them at church. All, staff & clients, are open, friendly & welcoming. They've hosted our family for dinner more than once (including our grandchildren). That was a great experience of their community. I can't think of a nonprofit I've ever encountered that has been so inspiring.
I was amazed by the dedication of L'Arche volunteers when I first met them and have grown to appreciate the whole organization the more I learn about them. The dedication to the well-being of the Corp Members and their inclusion as equal members of the community is a beautiful model. My wife and I have slowly increased our donations to L'Arche and focused our money on L'Arche because we can see a direct impact.
I have invited L'Arche to visit my students at The Catholic University for over four years because the story of how this community was founded and how they continue to positively impact persons with and without intellectual disability represents to me the perfect example of excellent social service.
- Matt Tapie, The Catholic University of America
L'Arche GWDC excels in providing a community of friendship for persons with intellectual disabilities. Serving the entire Greater Washington, DC and Arlington, VA region, the community demonstrates a profound gift of understanding how to care for the poor. The nonprofit is run with precision and intelligence, holding to the very best practices in every area. Supporting L'Arche GWDC financially is not only a good idea, but one where you can know that everything you give is received and utilized in the best way possible.
I've been involved with the Washington DC and Virginia L'Arche communities for 5 years as a volunteer, donor and friend of the community.
One area that stands out for me is the L'Arche assistants, staff, and core member's genuine commitment to each other through both the good and challenging times. They...we live authentically as a community. L'Arche has been and is an inspiration to me to live my life with authenticity.
Review from Guidestar
I learned about L'Arche and its founder Jean Vanier from an episode of Speaking of Faith, and started volunteering in the DC community soon thereafter. The peace and love I found at L'Arche was healing and soul-stirring; those in the community welcomed me like I had been there for years. The mission of L'Arche to provide unconditional support for all is a model for society, and its wonderful core members, assistants, and volunteers live and breathe that mission every day.
I volunteered with l'Arche DC in the late 1980s as a live-in assistant. I found it to be a helpful experience in my life, with a good life/work balance, strong community support, and lively metropolitan culture. The organization is well run and stable, and provides a great sign of the value of the person, no matter their intellectual capacity.
I spent 8 months at L'Arche in one of the DC homes. It was truly a life changing experience to live and work in the home. There were - undoubtedly - really hard times in the home, but the good far outweighed the bad. L'Arche is what it aims to be - a community.
My daughter and future son-in-law are assistants in L'Arche communities in DC and Arlington, and I couldn't be more proud (and impressed)! I have visited their communities many times, and have observed the beauty of community life. The assistants are gifted, compassionate people who impart their talents daily while receiving gifts from the community core members. I have joined in several dinners and prayer nights, and come away feeling better about the world!!
I was given the privilege to spend 8 weeks with L'Arche GWDC last summer and was struck instantly by how genuine the community is. The interactions between core members and assistants, between the houses and their neighbors, between volunteers and board members, and any combinations of those people are kind, gentle, and incredibly life-giving. Life at L'Arche is real -- there are hang-ups and disagreements and mistakes -- but there is so much support within the community that I felt at home right away. I think the world has a lot to learn from L'Arche about how to love and live in relationship with ALL people.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with L'Arche towards their goals. It is a wonderful place!
L'Arche is a truly amazing place, transforming the lives of both Care Members and Assistants. This place is the home I never know I was looking for.
L'Arche changed my life, but beyond that L'Arche changes the world one person at a time.
I had always felt uncomfortable around people with disabilities. I didn't know how to interact with them. Being involved with L'Arche made me realize there is no "them", there are just people - all of whom have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. I know that when I describe L'Arche to those who haven't experienced it - and it is an experience, not just an organization - many people cannot understand what it is beyond a "group home." Since I first interacted with L'Arche and the Core Members, I have known that the term "group home" was far too cheap a descriptor. L'Arche is a home, a community, a family, and a lifestyle. It is the best of what our world can offer for both persons with disabilities and people as a whole.
Respect, dignity, and love are the core tenets of life at L'Arche and every person - Core Member, Assistant, Volunteer, etc - who enters a L'Arche home can immediately feel the TLC for the soul provided within. L'Arche provides a home for life for its Core Members, a community forever for its Assistants and Volunteers, and a true and remarkable worldview for everyone.
L'Arche is a place where people are respectfully allowed to be themselves. People are loved for who they are and L'Arche stands as a beacon of what can be done when people consciously decide to treat each other with mutual respect and care. So many other organizations that care for disabled adults do it in the capacity of "staff" and "residents." L'Arche is a family and you can see that from a distance. L'Arche takes a lot of emotional presence to be an effective member of the family, but the imprint it leaves on your life, on your soul, will last forever and open your eyes to see the world in a new and beautiful way.
L'Arche has contributed greatly to my understand of family, friendship, vulnerability, and love. There is no place like L'Arche. L'Arche is a home. It is a family. It is a place where gifts are shared and exchanged. It is a place where people grow, change, and are healed. L'Arche is also a sign that people with disabilities can be loved, valued, and cherished if only we are willing to take the time to be with them, and to let them be with us. My life in L'Arche began with the Greater Washington DC Community. I hope that others will also have the chance to interact with this energetic and kind group of friends.