Spring/Summer 2020 COVID-19 Online Version

A video note, that is.

Click here to watch...

We hope you and your families are well! We send our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have asked how we are doing during this time of COVID-19. Thank you, as well, for all your support over the past three months -- volunteer time, porch visits, drive-by birthdays, donations and so much more. These gestures help us to stay healthy and connected. We are happy to share that all our members and assistants are doing welll.

Like everyone else, we just want things to go back to normal. We are in this together, grateful for each other—and grateful for friends and donors like you.
Rainbows of Hope and Solidarity throughout the
L'Arche Toronto Community!!

As part of a worldwide initiative, started by L'Arche International, rainbows of hope and solidarity were created in each of our four homes in East Toronto. Look out for them on your travels!! Enjoy.

Another exciting act of solidarity was initiated by L'Arche Canada for Giving Tuesday. We, along with 26 other L'Arche communities in seven countries, took part in creating a 'Quarantune Video' using 29 instruments. Watch the Tiny Lights Video Here
L'Arche Toronto Sol Express Goes Virtual
Sol Express is a creative and performance arts program that also addresses social inclusion and well-being. Usually at this time of year, we are preparing for the Toronto Fringe Festival and an art exhibit. However, COVID-19 has necessitated a dramatic pivot in programming. Without connections and learning opportunities, individuals could have become isolated in their homes, without friends, activities or engagement.

Although in-person programming is not possible at the moment, Sol Express assistants continue to reach out to participants regularly to ensure their well-being and sense of connectedness. As measures continue, programming has been re-envisioned to use online methods that facilitate the accessibility and manageability of activities using ZOOM. 

Performance arts gradually transformed into choreography and photography, videography evolved into story-boarding and collaborative video-creation sessions, and creative arts became sessions that focus on drawing, singing and story telling. The diligent and detailed preparation efforts of assistants have led to the creation of user-friendly, inclusive and engaging sessions for individuals who were used to in-person gatherings and largely unfamiliar with the intricacies of technology. Post COVID-19 regular programming will likely continue to involve social-distancing and extra sterilizing as we slowly return to our usual programming.

As you can imagine, we are experiencing significant extraordinary costs and revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19 and the resulting measures. You can help to defray these costs and ensure future programming by making a donation to Sol Express.
TIFS Launches Its Homebound Challenges

Trying It on For Size (TIFS) is a life-skills program for young adults. During the past few months TIFS programming has been completely re-envisioned so that participants can continue to work with their coaches and the entire group of TIFS participants using ZOOM. Sessions teach participants about COVID-19 and ways they can protect themselves. Fun home challenges such as “Who's Cooking”, “Domestic Challenges”, “Building Friendship” and exciting game nights serve to reduce isolation. Cleaning and cooking activities are designed to empower participants and allow them to showcase the skills they have learned. 

During July and August the program will continue to provide life skills development, teach technology (apps that offer participants the possibility to have more autonomy in their life) and ensure that TIFS participants continue to learn during these uncertain times. TIFS is committed to bringing participants together in creative ways to avoid isolation from their peers.

As the usual program uses a one-to-one format, future iin-person programming will focus on social-distancing and life-skills coaching using a COVID-19 lense e.g. how to safely use transportation, shop or meet friends in a post COVID-19 world.

You can help us now, to keep participants on their learning paths during and after the pandemic! Costs include the TIFS apartment rent and increased technology needs.
Stay Tuned.....

And get your dancing shoes ready for the Fifth Annual Twist n' Sip 'Premiere ' virtual concert and dance party.

Coming soon to a living room near you.

Join Julian Taylor , our East Toronto neighbour and renowned Canadian singer, songwriter and recording artist, as he spins and sings a few tunes. Share this event with your friends and family and support your friends at L'Arche Toronto by contributing to their fundraising page. Follow us on our social media channels to book the date. You can check out Julian's YouTube channel here .
Thank You!!

Over the past three months, during COVID-19, L'Arche Toronto has been the beneficiary of tremendous generosity! We want to thank you all! Here are just a few examples...

  • Countless individuals who made or purchased PPE for our assistants and members.
  • The many employees, volunteers, board members and community members who are making and delivering meals weekly.
  • Many individuals who volunteered to drive assistants to and from work to ensure their health and well-being.
  • The Toronto Foundation, which at the outset of the pandemic, made an additional 'Vital Signs Grantee' unrestricted allocation of $10,000 to L'Arche Toronto.
  • The collaboration between The Goods is Good and the Royal Bank Foundation which is providing $4,500 worth of nutritious food to the homes.
  • Those who were able to donate to L'Arche Toronto on Giving Tuesday towards our COVID-19 Relief Fund. To date we have raised over $16,000.
  • A generous community member who made a donation in order that each of our four homes could order in twice a week for the duration of the pandemic.
Keep up to date on our exciting new project for L'Arche Toronto's future. A new home, approximately 4,000 square feet, all on a single floor in a new condominium development, will provide a fully-accessible, barrier-free and inclusive lifest yle in downtown Toronto.

Our Everyone Belongs Capital Campaign ,  will raise funds for this new Regent Park Home for five individuals with an intellectual disability and three assistants. We invite you to follow along with our progress through the link above.
For over 45 years, the L'Arche Toronto community has brought to life the mission of L'Arche, where women and men, with and without intellectual disabilities, share life in community by engaging with a wide circle of family, friends and neighbours.

L'Arche Toronto provides homes and supports for daily living, employment and volunteer placements, and community participation. We also offer Sol Express, a creative and performance arts program, and Trying It on For Size (TIFS), a life skills program. L'Arche Toronto helps persons with intellectual disabilities discover their gifts and abilities, and supports them to achieve their goals for a meaningful life.

L'Arche Toronto is a member of the International Federation of L'Arche. Founded in 1964, there are now 153 communities in 38 countries. www.larchetoronto.org

Please keep connected by following L'Arche Toronto on social media!