Solidarity in 2024

On Sunday, February 11, 2024, nearly 150 friends of L’Arche Chicago joined together at Riverside Golf Club for our Annual Solidarity Brunch.

Published 5 March 2024

A Reflection from Jay De Man

It’s easy to begin with the picture that L’Arche Chicago comprises three, soon to be four homes and let the imagination rest there. Really, the scale of what we do is most often measured in exactly that way – these are the spaces where Core Members live, in which the majority of work in care and life is provided, whose walls, furniture, meals, and moments afford all the little ways this collective effort manifests. This natural focus on our own has been all the more intensified by the energy, vision, and fundraising needed for the much-anticipated fourth home – an answer to the accessibility needs of our community. We’ve been hard at work, weaving together the dreams and work of Core Members, assistants, staff, L’Arche’s board, and the friends and partners throughout the neighborhoods our life by place and history most readily intersects.

On an unseasonably warm Sunday morning a few days before Valentine’s we gathered to embrace part of L’Arche’s wider work around the world. Our annual Solidarity fundraising event marks a time for remembering our place within a federation of communities striving in parallel hope. Having seen how so many have pitched in for the local needs directing much of L’Arche Chicago’s current energies in care, it was wonderful to see so many of the same faces gathered on behalf of others who do the work we do but are threatened by war, poverty, systemic neglect, oppression, and hatred.

I was particularly grateful for what it meant for us to answer their call; something really goes wrong when we don’t. It is only in heeding their need that we are able to represent a consistent picture of what the work of care involves, and so only by listening and offering what we can that our own life with the mission of L’Arche begins. All at once, amidst all the regular trappings of fundraising, the clinking glasses, too-hot microphones, the chatter of folks reunited, L’Arche Chicago took on part of its proper shape. It was a gift to stand with friends in this effort and to show that the abundance we presently have exists not as something for us to cling to, but rather as a means of demonstrating the shared hope we have for a dignifying, just, and peaceful world.

Photo by Tina Harle

Event Impact

The event’s proceeds benefit the L’Arche International’s Solidarity Program, which exists for L’Arche communities to lift one another up in their struggles by providing financial assistance to those who are living in the darkest circumstances. L’Arche Chicago is grateful for those who attended and supported this event.

Save the date for next year: March 8, 2025!