L’Arche North Bay volunteers are needed in a variety of situations. Most volunteers choose to develop stable, long-term friendships with an individual member, home or program. Others may help in the office or with fundraising projects. Some volunteers help maintain the garden of a house, or catch up on the sewing, or do seasonal cleaning or odd jobs in the homes. A volunteer might cook dinner with a core member once every two weeks.
Some people come to L’Arche because they are interested in the field of intellectual disability. They are drawn by L’Arche’s vision, which focuses on the gifts and contributions to our society of people who have developmental disabilities.
Others come to L’Arche wanting an experience of life in community. The prospect of being with people of differing intellectual capacity, social origin, religion and culture is attractive and the experience of community built around the weaker members of our society challenges them. L’Arche knows how to create settings where relationships of mutuality can develop. Also, people find L’Arche a good environment for personal growth.
Some people come to L’Arche because of a social justice motivation or because the spiritual dimension of L’Arche attracts them. L’Arche’s life together in solidarity with people who are easily marginalized, its simple and accepting spirituality, and its ecumenical and interfaith dimensions attract them.
Whatever their initial motivation, volunteers soon realize that the people that they come to help and with whom they develop friendships have much to give and to teach about life.