Please make all cheques payable to "L'Arche Canada Foundation" and mail to:
300-10271 Yonge St
Richmond Hill, ON
Mel lived a challenging life. He had both an intellectual disability and a visual impairment. Before Mel came to L’Arche, it was a very difficult time in his life as his mother had just died. Because he could not live without assistance, he was taken away from his family, neighbourhood and everything he knew. He did not have meaningful work – all of this turmoil left Mel angry and frustrated. It was at this time he came to live at L’Arche.
Over time, the Assistants in his new home at L’Arche helped Mel discover his dreams while setting personal goals to work towards. Through the L’Arche Work Support Program, he was able to develop his skills and secure his dream job at the food bank! There, he carried boxes and enjoyed going out with the drivers on the big rigs to deliver food to those in need. Mel’s anger and frustration was replaced by the pride that came with achieving his full potential. With the support of his L’Arche home and the L’Arche Work Support Program, Mel felt fulfilled in his work for the first time before sadly passing away.
At his funeral, his friends, family and work colleagues spoke about his amazing capacity for relationships, and his passion for serving the less fortunate. Mel made a difference in the lives of many people, both within L’Arche and in the wider community.
Mel’s life was able to shine because there was a L’Arche home and program that welcomed him. The vision to provide meaningful opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities was developed by one man who dared to make a difference, Jean Vanier.
In 1964, the Canadian humanitarian bought a small house and welcomed two men, Raphael Simi and Phillippe Seux, to leave their institutions and live with him instead. Through this act of kindness, L’Arche was created and has continued to help people with intellectual disabilities reach their full potential.
Today, there are 151 L’Arche communities in 37 countries around the world. There are 200 L’Arche homes and day programs across Canada that have transformed the lives of thousands of people with intellectual disabilities.
“Another dream I have is that we, the people of this earth, learn to be with people with intellectual disabilities, not just wanting to look after them and give money for their well-being. By living together, we will help them to discover their fundamental value. They have gifts to offer our societies and the world.”
– Jean Vanier, Founder of L’Arche
A L’Arche Work Support Program such as the one in which Mel participated, provides an individual assessment, skills training, job trials, job coaching, transition training for work colleagues, and ongoing oversight. These programs are not fully funded by government – its success depends on the kindness of our donors.
Please help keep Jean Vanier’s vision alive and growing.