From the Board Chair


Dear Friend, 

It’s hard to imagine a life fueled by vulnerability. It seems that no place in our world is free from the drive of competition and perfection. 

But Joni can tell you a different story. Joni contracted encephalitis as a child. The fever led to irreversible brain damage. She was left unable to speak and finds it difficult to physically navigate her world.

Because Joni lives in a L’Arche community, the limitations on her body and the way her mind works are part of her gift. When I was an assistant, living in the daily rhythms of life with Joni and the other “core members” of our home, I learned how to slow down. If we rushed through routines or meals Joni could sense my irritation. Like all of us, Joni wants a life where she is seen as beloved, not someone to rush past on my way to better things.

L’Arche is a place where attention to gentleness thrives. Since its founding in 1964, L’Arche has steadily grown as a “sign of peace” around the world. From Uganda to Hebron to Northern Ireland, homes that thrive on the mutual gifts of people with and without intellectual disabilities reveal a different way of being.

In 2012, a group of former assistants representing eight different L’Arche communities began to dream of a community in North Carolina. We wanted a home where we could laugh, eat, play, vacation, pray, rejoice, and mourn across lines of intellectual difference while living together.

We are in sight of that dream being realized. With a strong board, oversight from L’Arche USA, project approval status, and a 501c-3 we are ready to take our next steps.

We’re on a journey towards the first milestone in our campaign. Your financial gift towards that $100,000 goal will help L’Arche to hire its first executive director after nearly six years of running solely on volunteer support. This will launch us into establishing our first home by 2020. We hope you will join the journey!

Melissa Florer-Bixler
Board Chair
L’Arche North Carolina