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 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.
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 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.
I think it is so very important for individuals with developmental disabilities to be in a community where they are part of mutually trans formative relationships and this is what L'Arche's foundation is.
It's hard to say just how much being a part of the L'Arche Greater Washington DC community has meant to me. My time there has informed not only my current work (as a writer with a focus on sharing the stories of people with special needs), but the way I experience the world. When I arrived at L'Arche to be a direct-care assistant in 2007, I thought I'd stay for just one year. One year turned into five years, however, as I served in roles from assistant to home life coordinator to program director to consultant to volunteer and friend. Though it was a challenging journey at times, it was also full of joy. L'Arche DC, like any organization comprised of human beings, isn't perfect -- but its members are very good at giving one another second (and third, and fourth, and five-hundreth) chances. (Not to mention the fact that they know how to laugh, dance, and throw a good party.) They know how to ask good questions, how to grieve, and how to celebrate, and I am proud to have been a part of their life. And their practice of community-based caregiving is transformative. Supporting another person helps you to know your own vulnerability. When the core members at L'Arche welcomed me into their family, they changed my heart, and for that, I will always give thanks.
L'Arche in Greater Washington D.C. serves people with intellectual disabilites with great finesse wrapped in love. This intentional community welcomes people without disablilities to live in and enter into mutual relationships with the people who have challenges. The community is continually on a creative path of building a strong home life and pursues stimulating activities both intellectual and recreational to enhance the lives of everyone involved. It has been a joy to be involved for 13 years. Dorothy Copps Community Leader in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C.