"I first encountered a L'Arche community when I was in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW in Seattle, and I was immediately struck by the warmth and companionship that emanated from everyone I met there. L'Arche is an international organization that supports hundreds of communities for people with and without disabilities. As their website explains, "Those with intellectual disabilities form the heart of our shared life and invite others into mutual relationships. We welcome each person's unique gifts and challenges, and offer opportunities for personal transformation."
When I moved to Portland and started my typical 9 to 5, I wondered how to make my evenings more meaningful. I contacted L'Arche Portland and asked if there was some way I could serve their community. In true L'Arche fashion, I was invited over for dinner and once again was overcome by their open-heartedness. The rest is history. What I do: Once a week, I prepare a meal for the community and share my time with the assistants and core members. It provides the community members with an evening where they don't have to think about cooking dinner, and it provides me the opportunity to share my life with fantastic people. It is a very simple thing. It is consistently the most life-giving part of my week."