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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My internship with L'Arche Heartland was one of the most influential experiences of my life. When I began my internship I had never worked with people with disabilities before, so I was understandably nervous. But more importantly I was looking for some true-to-life experiences and real relationships. And that's exactly what I found.

As an intern I was able to experience life in different houses regularly and there was so much to learn. Not only did I learn about how to provide direct care to core members, but I learned valuable interpersonal skills and how to live intentional relationships. Core members are some of the most fun people to get to know because they are so unapologetically themselves. They are not shy about the things they like or dislike. They own their individuality and are unafraid to be exactly who they are, flaws and all. And I have come to learn that intentional relationships mean if you are willing to accept them for exactly who they are, then they will accept you and your flaws too. And that's what I found so beautiful about L'Arche Heartland. I had never before been around so many people, core members and assistants alike, who loved each other for their unique gifts and flaws. I also learned quickly to roll with the punches that come with living such authentic relationships. There were days that I would arrive and be greeted with hugs, and there were days that I was met with the stony silence of tension brewing. But no matter how the day began I knew we could work through it together and be smiling and laughing by the end of the night. It's not an easy task to live so intentionally but it is the most rewarding. Everyday I was challenged to be vulnerable and allow these new people to know me. And it was difficult to let down my guards and let the core members know me in a very real way. But I found that the days I was comfortable enough to open myself were the days I grew the most. These were the days I forged true friendships and tested the limits of my capabilities. And the more I did, the more often I felt I could do it again and again. So by the end of my internship I had the most amazing friends for life. In L'Arche Heartland I had found people who were dedicated to each other and to the life they are living together. 

-Rebecca Molner, Psychology Intern, 2015

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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