Experience the Joy of L'Arche
2017 ANNUAL REPORT
L'Arche Atlanta envisions a world where everyone has a secure place of belonging in community, where people with and without disabilities can live in mutually transformative relationship, and where all people's gifts are valued and given a place from which to contribute to the wider society.
The mission of L'Arche is to make known the gifts of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships; to respond the changing needs of our members, while being faithful to the core values of our founding story; and to engage in our diverse cultures, working together towards a more human society.
Letter from Our Executive Director
Executive Director & Community Leader
Dear Friends of L’Arche Atlanta,
Everything L’Arche does is grounded in our belief in the unique, sacred, and unrepeatable gift of every person, and the belief in mutually transformative relationships between people of differing abilities. We joyfully experience and share the gifts of our Core Members with intellectual disabilities living in community with assistants, supported by our staff and Board of Directors. Our community is committed to living and sharing the vision of L’Arche as we rejoice in the successes of 2017 and anticipate the challenges and rewards of the future.
People sometimes ask how many people we serve, or what outcomes we achieve in a year. These are difficult questions to answer when our product is relationships, and our outcome is growth of the human heart. Relationships and growth don’t lend themselves to measurement at a point in time. In L’Arche, we succeed when we provide consistent, joy-filled, and loving care through the individual moments and interactions of our daily life together. From this perspective, 2017 was an outstanding year.
We invite others to experience the JOY of L’Arche by demonstrating that by living together in community we can reveal the gifts of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We share this joy by building relationships locally and among the 18 L’Arche USA communities, and through the 148 communities worldwide in L’Arche’s international federation. This worldwide organization is focused on taking L’Arche out into the world, deepening our experiences with one another, and sustaining our communities. We are grateful to be a part of a global movement to recognize the gifts of adults with disabilities.
We are also grateful to you for your support which makes this special work we do possible.
Tim Moore - Executive Director & Community Leader of L’Arche Atlanta
What we Do
Home-Based Professional Services
Community life is centered around our communal home in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur, GA and the four residents who have intellectual disabilities, known as Core Members. Core Members and four fulltime assistants share life together building mutually transformative relationships.
Assistants provide personalized care in a family-like home environment. Healthcare professionals, government agencies, and advocates in the disability field herald L’Arche as one of the best providers of community-based care for people who have intellectual disabilities.
For generations, people with intellectual disabilities have been ignored, ostracized, and marginalized. L’Arche aims to change that by advocating with people who have intellectual disabilities for the rights and dignity they deserve. Advocacy can mean working to change policies to give our Core Members, and Georgians with disabilities, more freedom; most often, advocacy means asking questions and really listening to the answer, then joining our voices together to speak up for change. Currently, L’Arche Atlanta’s advocacy efforts are concentrated on The Storytelling Project, an initiative to educate and influence leaders around issues that affect Georgians with disabilities.
The community of mutually transformative relationships that begins in our Oakhurst home expands at our community events. Adults with intellectual disabilities, their families, and and ever-growing number of people without disabilities who are drawn to our mission, come together in fellowship. Our events draw attendance from across the metro-Atlanta area as people gather for fun events where the sole purpose is to celebrate the gifts of those with disabilities.
Highlights of 2017
L’Arche Advocates for Adults with Disabilities
In 2017, L’Arche Atlanta received a grant from the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) to lead the The Storytelling Project. We aim to collect 75 stories representing the experience of individuals living with a developmental disability in Georgia—at least one individual from each of Georgia’s 56 State Senate Districts. L’Arche will be collecting stories to support GCDD’s efforts to amplify the voices and stories of people with developmental disabilities in Georgia. The grant was received at the end of 2017; the project is underway and will continue through 2018.
L’Arche International Assembly in Belafast
Every five years, L’Arche hosts an international assembly where all communities are represented. In 2017 Corbin, one of our Core Members, and Shae, one of our house assistants, represented L’Arche Atlanta at the international gathering in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Corbin, a skilled musician, opened the assembly with a bagpipe performance.
Community Celebrates Executive Director's Wedding
Our executive director, Tim Moore, married the lovely Janelle last September. Each Core Member played a central role in the wedding: John was the best man and gave a speech at the wedding, Patrick read a scripture passage, Terry gave a blessing, and Corbin played his bagpipes at the reception.
Central Region Creativity Retreat
To encourage growth through personal expression, L’Arche Atlanta hosted a creativity retreat for Core Member and assistant pairs from each L’Arche community in our region. The group gathered for a time of art led by Mary Ruppert, a trained artist, and Cheryl Zinyk, the artistic coordinator for L’Arche Toronto’s Soul Express program. The group enjoyed activities including: singing, percussion music, painting, pencil drawings, and theater.
Welcoming new house assistants
In March 2017, after 20 months in the community, Tony Levin transitioned to L’Arche Atlanta’s house coordinator. Three new assistants joined the community in 2017: Becca Van Galder arrived in May, Lis Barrett joined in June, and Taylor Foote arrived in August. Jessica Laenger also joined us as a summer intern from the University of Notre Dame.
The Joy of Revealed Gifts
Long before Corbin celebrated his one-year anniversary at our Mead Road home in July 2017, it was evident that he would share unique gifts with our community. His ability to play the bagpipes with such skill and joy stood out immediately.
Once this gift was discovered, we looked for as many places as possible to share it—and opportunities abounded! Corbin played the bagpipes at two of our community events: the April choir concert and the Christmas party. He also played at the Columbia Seminary Convocation and the Agnes Scott College Commencement, where he shared the stage with Oprah Winfrey. But perhaps the highlight was performing at the L’Arche International Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland in July. Corbin’s parents and L’Arche assistant Shae joined him for this fun and meaningful trip, where Corbin was able to share his gift with representatives from the worldwide L’Arche community.
While Corbin’s ability to play the bagpipes is remarkable—because he is blind, he plays entirely by ear—his housemates and friends can name many other of his qualities that they enjoy: his sense of humor and quick wit, his desire to learn and explore new things, the wide gamut of music he enjoys (from pop music star Meghan Trainer to bluegrass to marching bands), and his love of baking gluten-free treats.
There’s a sense of pride and love evident when his housemates talk about Corbin’s talents (“don’t forget he also plays the flute by ear!”). Corbin, in turn, has found a place of warmth and welcome in the home he shares with his new friends. He knows his gifts are celebrated, and the joy he exhibits when sharing them with his friends and neighbors is palpable.
The purpose of L’Arche is mutual transformation through relationships. Corbin’s many friendships remind us of the joy that is attainable when we allow ourselves to engage daily with people of all abilities.
2017 Board of Directors & Advisory Council
- Gayle Gellerstedt, Co-Chair, Community Volunteer
- Steve Siler, Co-Chair. President, Mercy Care Foundation
- Shayla Rumely, Vice-Chair. Community Volunteer
- Ann Rushing, Treasurer, Tax and Personal Financial Planning, Robbins, Eskew, Smith & Jordan
- Shannon Powell, Secretary, Principal, City 360, Inc.
Members at Large
- Haqiqa Bolling, Counselor, Renfroe Middle School
- MacKensie Brandt, Senior Campaign Manager, Coxe Curry & Associates
- Dawn Buannic*, Community Volunteer
- Michelle Hall, Dean of Students, Oglethorpe University
- Dana Keener Mast, Senior Manager, ICF International
- Martha Moore Keish*, Professor of Theology, Columbia Seminary
- Jim Swartz, Labor Law Attorney, Polsinelli
- Jasmine Terry Okafor, Development Specialist, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
Kathy Ashe , John Beane**, Bill Funk, Gué Hudson, Elizabeth Pearce, Lizanne Stephenson, Mary Margaret Oliver
We expect exciting things to come in 2018! Our strategic plan for 2018 lays out over 20 goals for the year; a few highlights include:
- Formalize a plan for growth into a second house.
- Raise $220,000 to fund the gap between Medicaid and our residential care program.
- Recruit three new board members with attention to diversity and experience in real estate, fundraising, and disability services.
- Raise $10,000 in programmatic revenue to enhance and expand community events.
- Raise $15,000 to complete The Storytelling Project, an initiative to collect personal testimonies of importance for Medicaid funding.
We are grateful for our donors who invested in the mission of L’Arche by supporting the 2017 operating fund. We would not be able to do what we do without your generosity.
Gifts up to $5,000Ann Michal & Paul AdamsCarol Armstrong*Kathy & Lawrence Ashe*Michael Athans*Judy AustPat & Jim Barlow*Nancy & John Beane*Ann Early BibbJulie & Jerry Bonner*MacKensie & Andrew BrandtMary Jane & Eugene BrisbaneDawn Buannic & Nikki EconomouChalice Thrift Store at First Christian Church of DecaturFlorida & Doug EllisSuzanne Feese & Barbara RowlandTina & Felix FernandezGlenn Memorial United Methodist ChurchKelly & Robbie Harris*Dana & Will Hudson*Gue’ & Bill Hudson*David Jenkins & James David Spivey*Dana & Allen MastPat LamarAngelo MagistroMary Ryan & Henry G. Kuhrt FoundationJohn MazzoliniJudy & Chuck Miller*Becky & Paul Moore*Janelle & Tim Moore*Martha & Chris Moore-Keish*Nicholas MulliezLinda Newman & Charles Absher*Mary Margaret OliverElizabeth R Pearce*Mildred & Robert PettyCharlotte & Pete PfeifferPolsinelli Law FirmKeri Powell & Daniel MarksSt. Ann’s Catholic ChurchAlexandra & Tom Roddy*Deidra RondenoErin & Zachary Runcie*Mary Stoops & Trace Haythorn*Mary Crowe-Taylor & William Taylor*Caroline & Andrew Toney-NolandMary & John Ujda*Liz & Joe WalshEmily & James WashburnCheryl & James White
Gifts up to $1,000Benevity Community Impact FundMary Ellen & George DavisSean GlowaskiMichelle & Austin HallNancy & Steven HamletZach JonesJenny & Jimmy LocklearRebecca Spurrier & Silas AllardLizanne StephensonSuzy & John SumrallJane TurnerDan Williams
Gifts up to $500Kenneth AlexanderBeth Allgood-JusticeLouanne BachnerReshell BaldiniKathleen BarksdaleBetty BarnardMonica & Isaac BaroiCarol & Woody BartlettKim & Dan BaskervilleTomi & Doug BaysGail & Charles BellLynn & Bob BerlonJoanna BeugnonAndrew BoatwrightHaqiqa & Bill BollingRoberta & Richard BondiJoy & Anthony BorraAlexis & Anne-Laure BoutrolleTina Bovermann & Anna HuttoAmy BowmanHazel BradleyBernadine BramblettJane BranscombBetty & James Brewer-CalvertBright Funds FoundationAnnette Brister
Tribute GiftsGifts Were Made in Honor of the Following PeopleJim & Pat BarlowPatrick BarlowGeorge & Mary Ellen DavisGretchen FuchsD. Gayle GellerstedtMichelle, Austin, & Harris HallJohn HudsonGue’ HudsonLaura McGregorCorbin McKinnonJudy MillerLuther & Helen SmithDebra SwaimJim & Mary SwartzJoe & Liz WalshLaura & Talley Wells
Gifts Were Made in Memory of the Following PeopleMiller & Mary BristerHenry BuannicJim LaubenthalJack LinsomRhiannon Wilburn
In-Kind GiftsPaul AdamsClint Alexander Beth Allgood-JusticeAtlanta BravesJohn BeaneDawn BuannicCafe LilyLaurie DieterichAnn GlendinningDavid KingMary Margaret OliverCorbin McKinnonWilliam McKinnonKatie McLellanBrian & Susie PurcellShayla RumelySplash of OliveTaziki’s Mediterranean CafeThree Taverns BreweryZest Catering
Do you want to help us envision and inspire a world
that welcomes difference and celebrates the gifts of all people?
Please contact us below for more information: