Please make all cheques payable to "L'Arche Canada Foundation" and mail to:
300-10271 Yonge St
Richmond Hill, ON
Another year has come and gone, and for many people with intellectual disabilities living at home, it was just another year gone by. But to others, it was a year of discovery that opened up the doors to a new life.
Jeff is a shy 55-year-old man with Down Syndrome who lived with his father his whole life. But his father passed away leaving Jeff lost and at the mercy of the local institution.
With no plan in place and no family to care for him, Jeff’s welfare was decided by the local social service agency. He ended up living in a senior’s home in the dementia ward. This poor choice meant his already sheltered life became more reclusive with no one close to his age to talk to and very little social stimulation.
Jeff’s days were spent alone in his room. This kind of isolation is how Jeff lives for close to two years.
Here in Canada, many adults with intellectual disabilities continue to live with their aging parents until the parents become too old to care for them, or sadly when the parents die. Most of us are ill-equipped to adequately prepare for that day. Given the endless waiting lists for services, unfortunately, these parents must ask “What happens to my child when I die?”. Think about how you would feel if you were Jeff’s parents? Or Jeff.
Fortunately, the folks at the local L’Arche community heard of Jeff’s situation and welcomes him warmly into their community. This move into a living community of people with similar abilities of various ages positively changed Jeff’s life forever. And the generosity of our donors is what makes it possible for people like Jeff to find the loving help he needs.
His years of isolation and loneliness were now over.
Supported by his new family at L’Arche, Jeff found his voice, began to speak up, reach out and make his needs known. He was helped by attending L’Arche programs that built his self-esteem, gave his life structure and routine that helped him learn he had a community of people he could rely on and who also relied on him.
Living in a loving L’Arche community has empowered Jeff like never before. This led him to gain the courage to go out into his local community and look for a job. He applied to become a Barista at a local Starbucks and got the job.
Jeff now knows he matters to many people, both in and out of his L’Arche community. His days are busy spent socializing with friends, helping out in his L’Arche home and working and greeting customers at work.
In L’Arche, Jeff went beyond a life of merely existing to living a fill life, with new activities, friends and opportunities for him. L’Arche has opened the world to Jeff, and he has opened himself to the world!
When adults arrive in L’Arche who have lived sheltered lives, or cannot communicate their needs, we work with them to come out of their shells and become a part of a loving community. Similar stories like this happen in L’Arche communities across Canada every day. We want to welcome even more people life Jeff, people who should not be discarded due to their disability, adults who may be institutionalized when there is no plan in place for where they will live once their family members pass away.
During the holiday season, we can truly show our generous spirit. Help us reach more men and women with intellectual disabilities, who may fall through the cracks and become isolated. I am convinced that L’Arche is part of God’s work in the world and I invite you to join with us in this quest.DONATE NOW