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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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

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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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When I first moved to L’Arche Heartland, I had a pretty good idea that it wouldn’t be “just a job.” I knew that by virtue of living in the same house with the people I would be caring for that there would be little separation between what I considered my “work life” and “home life.” And that was true. Even when I was on my time away, with no work responsibilities, I still would see my housemates every day, and they’d have questions to ask or stories to tell. There would still be activities I’d participate in or meals to share. Just because I was “off” from work didn’t mean I was off from the relationships.

I think that I was pretty prepared for that. I had an idea that’s how life would be when I moved in. But what I wasn’t prepared for was just how important those relationships would become. I can’t really pinpoint an exact moment, but there was definitely a shift when I stopped doing it because I felt like I needed to, or didn’t have anything else to do, and started spending time with core members during my time away because I valued their friendship, and I wanted to spend time with them. Sunday lunches and trips to the library became a regular activity with a couple of the guys, even when I wasn’t working, and even after I moved to a different house, because I enjoyed being with them. Even now, as a Community Coordinator, when I have a more typical 9-5 work schedule, I will often participate in our Saturday activities, or spend time with core members outside of that schedule, because I value our time together and they have become important to me. They aren’t just people that I care for, or whose house I now coordinate, but they are my friends. It wasn’t something I was expecting when I first came to L’Arche Heartland, but it’s definitely something I love about my life in L’Arche.

-Mark Lepper, Community Coordinator