The message of L’Arche is essentially that through entering into relationship with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities our world can see an example of how to be transformed, one person at a time, into a more peaceful and compassionate society.

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Whether you are interested in joining our community as an assistant, building relationships with us as a volunteer, or sharing your gifts as a member of our board, there are numerous ways you can become a part of L’Arche Heartland accomplishing our mission. We are excited to welcome you!

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In order to continue being a witness to the transformative power of relationships with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we rely on financial support from generous donors. Thank you for sharing your resources with us as we journey towards a more compassionate society.

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Sarah Engelmann has been a core member with L’Arche Heartland since 2009, when she first began attending our day service program at the Academy.  In 2014 she made the transition from living with Mom and Dad, to living at Harmony House, our newest home in the Heartland community. Because of her involvement with both the day service as well as residential side of our community, we were interested to hear what makes L’Arche special to her.

When asked what she likes about L’Arche Academy, she said “I just really enjoy it!” She was then asked what she enjoys about it. Her responses were endless: “I like singing and keeping the beat,” (referring to morning sing-along). She went on to say “I enjoy journal time, doing crafts with Ms. Carol, volunteering, and doing my music video at 11:30 on Friday mornings.” During the school year Sarah goes, once a week with a small group from L’Arche, to volunteer at Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries. There she helps to fill back packs with food in order that underprivileged children can take them home on the weekends, as a way to ensure they are fed. Volunteering is often the highlight of her week, aside from watching her videos or “vid’s,” as she refers to them.

We then went on to talk about her life at Harmony House and what it is that she likes about living there. When asked what she enjoys about it, she responded: “well I enjoy doing my coup work, and watching my vids,” (clipping coupons and watching music videos in her room). She was then asked if she liked her roommates, and she responded with a jubilant “Yeah!” When asked what she liked to do with her roommates she said “Prayer Night every Tuesday, then game night at Homer’s,” (a local coffee shop) “playing Farkel, having movie nights, and music therapy on Thursday.” She ended the interview saying, “I love L’Arche and all the activities. I’m glad I live here.” And if you were to ask the community you would find that we are glad she lives here too!

-Sarah Engelmann, Core Member

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L’Arche Heartland has partnered with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to expand our network of local business for our door-to-door recycling service. By welcoming a small group of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities into their workplaces on a weekly basis to collect their recycling, these business partners are helping us move towards realizing the vision of a paid employment option for the persons in our day service.


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The gift that Jean Vanier, Phillipe and Raphael gave to the world is as beautiful as it is simple: "You matter". From that humble origin of three men sharing life together, L'Arche has changed the world with a revolution of tenderness. In doing so, L’Arche has turned the world's values of money, power and beauty - as signs of success - on its head. L'Arche creates spaces where all are made to feel that we matter, that we are beautiful, that asking for help is ok, that our brokenness has something to teach us, but does not define us, and that we have things to learn from people who aren't like us.

I was sent to L'Arche Heartland as part of my Jesuit training a few years ago. The core members invited me, a complete stranger, into their house and lives with such ease that I immediately felt at home. Four years later, I still tell anyone who asks that L'Arche Heartland is the single greatest experience I have had as a Jesuit. "How can such a short experience be so powerful?” I am frequently asked. And I reply, "Because it is the most authentic experience of the Kingdom of God: all are welcome, all are celebrated, we share meals, tears, laughter and affection with such ease. Under the unassuming disguise of birthday cakes, kitchen dance parties and chicken nuggets we are living out God's dream for us."

-Matthew Wooters, SJ, Jesuit Intern 2013