Meaningful work at L’Arche
Raising money for organization that gives dignity to those with developmental disabilities
“We believe everyone deserves the dignity of meaningful work.”
It’s a powerful statement and one that Josie MacEachern believes wholeheartedly. She is the development co-ordinator at L’Arche Cape Breton, an ecumenical Christian community in Iron Mines open to people with developmental disabilities and those who choose to live and work with them.
For MacEachern and other staff members, the concept of meaningful work is key to helping and working with those who live and take part in L’Arche.
“We have seven day programs but that’s because not everybody can do the same thing,” she said. “We have such talented people.”
The programs include the Angels Loft where crafts are produced; the Ark and the Hope Chest, both used clothing stores; the Old Hen Café; the Sun Flour Bakery; the Sun Flower, an organic garden and greenhouse; and a summer day camp for youth.
Working within the L’Arche community is applauded by those who live there.
“I do crayon batik art and painting, wash dishes and make jewelry. I like the fact that I am at work getting to see new people,” said core member Coralee MacDougall who works at the Angel’s Loft.
“I love my friends,” says Chris Matheson. “I help make frames.”
L’Arche Cape Breton was founded in 1983 by Tom and Anne Gunn. It is a community of about 50 people including 25 core members who live on site and who take part in the day programs. It is incorporated as a charitable society and is licensed by the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services. That means funding for L’Arche Cape Breton houses comes from Community Services but the responsibility to fund the operational costs of the day programs lies with
And that’s where Springfest comes in.
Springfest will be held Saturday, June 3 at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, starting at 7 p.m. There will be a L’Arche presentation and video, desserts, tea and coffee and a live auction.
“Springfest is our biggest fundraising event of the year,” says MacEachern. “Over half the beautiful people who call L’Arche Cape Breton home are from the Cape Breton Regional
Municipality and many of their families still live there. That is why we decided to host Springfest at Membertou Trade and Convention Centre so that people from the CBRM can meet our community members and learn not only about what they have to offer but to see what amazing arts and crafts they can produce.”
Admission is $15. Tickets are available at the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop, Charlotte Street or by calling 902-9452283 or 902-565-0006.
Buddy Payne holds up some of the colourful bowls that he creates at L’Arche Cape Breton.