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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

L'Arche, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, Civil Rights, Disabilities, Disabled Persons Rights, Group Homes, Human Services, Religion

Mission: Our mission is to make known the gifts of people who have intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships. L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C., is an interdenominational Christian community of people with and without intellectual disabilities who share their lives together. Life in L’Arche centers on four communal homes and sixteen members who have intellectual disabilities.

Results: L'Arche Greater Washington, D.C. has been operating in Adams Morgan for 31 years and 9 years in Arlington. We host nearly 200 people for dinner every year at our homes, as a main piece of our mission is hospitality. We hosted 24 presentations of L'Arche over the past year. We are continuing to build our capacity to grow and have plans to add more homes in Washington, D.C.

Target demographics: Adults who have intellectual disabilities.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 16 adults who have intellectual disabilities

Geographic areas served: Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia

Programs: L'Arche has three program areas: 1.Building community within our homes and within the broader community, 2. Providing professional support services to adults who have intellectual disabilities, and 3. Advocating for and with those who have disabilities for the dignity and rights they deserve.

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

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

Donor

Rating: 5

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.
Donna Davis

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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

Laura129

Donor

Rating: 5

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with L'Arche towards their goals. It is a wonderful place!

Penny9

Donor

Rating: 5

Respect and Dignity are two words that first come to mind when thinking of the L'Arche community. For core members of L'Arche there are no disabilities, only different abilities. Thanks to L'Arche every person has the opportunity to shine. -Kim Pintabona

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a part of the L'Arche DC family for almost 30 years. If ever there was an island of love in the world, L'Arche is it. The gentleness and compassion shared between the core members and staff is inspiring. People are loved for the gifts each one brings to the community. I was fortunate to raise my children within the L'Arche community. When others remark on how caring they are, I give credit to their L'Arche family. To Gene and Mo who held them as babies and celebrated many milestones with them, to Michael, who knows their every life detail, and for all of the many others who loved them as they were growing up. I cannot think of a better way to promote good in the world than by contributing to L'Arche. The ripple (or wave) effect is enormous.

Garrick J.

Donor

Rating: 5

L'arche holds a special place for me within the confines of my ministry. When I was in seminary working toward my Masters of Divinity, I happened to be assigned the book, Adam, written by Henri Nowen. It had a truly profound effect on my experience with people with intellectually disabled individuals. The book was written with such passion and compassion. What Nowen discovered and has helped me to realize and believe is that we are all called to community. It was Jean Vanier who discovered L'arche; however, it is the individuals within its doors who make the impact on human existence and experience for those who dare to take a chance to explore it. L'arche has opened my mind to what a community founded in Christ can mean and how we live, eat, breathe and learn to be together as one. It is a venue of love, compassion, honor, and forgiveness; a place of welcome, warmth, humanness, and growth. L'arche has helped me to learn more about myself from those who are served much more than belonging to one faith community or church. It has taught me ministry in the greatest way, through faith and hope!

Mary89

Donor

Rating: 5

At L'Arche, I've seen firsthand transformations in people with intellectual disabilities, people without intellectual disabilities through a shared experience of daily life. I have a friend at L'Arche who lived in a institution for people with disabilities from the age of 5 to sometime in his late forties. We don't know quite what he experienced there since he does not like to talk about it, but it has been described by others as a jail. In the more than 25 years since he left the institution to live at L'Arche, my friend has created a rich life for himself. He walks around the neighborhood every afternoon, stopping in McDonalds for a cup of coffee, and greeting all the people who now know him. He works at an art workshop creating beautiful paintings and pastels that he sells on the internet and in a gallery. Friends sometimes take him to see car races, and he watches with a smile on his face while wearing his red NASCAR hat. Last night he was telling me how excited he is to go to church on Sunday. L'Arche has even helped him reconnect with his half brother, and my friend is looking forward to a trip down to Florida to visit. My friend has also had an impact on me. I love the way he greets me with, "Hello, Grandma!" every time I walk in the door of his house, and that he's always up for a friendly pillow fight on the couch. His welcome and smile make me feel right at home. I don't need to be strong or impressive around him; I just need to be me. I hope that you will get involved in L'Arche and find out the gifts that this extraordinary community has to offer.