A Simple Request

Since my tongue-in-cheek post on Monday about my “seminar series,” I’ve been stunned at the outpouring of emails and notes from people who wanted to pay me anyway for that “seminar.”

I really appreciate it. I deeply appreciate it.

Right now, though, I’m in a financial situation where, for the time being and for the near term, I don’t need that money. I actually live the things I write about on this site. My financial situation is relatively secure (nothing is absolutely secure, but I’m happy with where I’m at).

Yet, at the same time, I deeply understand the desire to give. I often donate to websites and web tools that I use or find valuable or find inspiration, just because I know how much work and passion goes into putting that out there.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how to handle this. I thought about my life and the people in it. Pretty quickly, the right answer came to me.

Three members of my close family all work for the same charity. This charity does tremendous life-chaning work here in the United States on what’s often a shoestring budget.

This charity is L’arche Tahoma Hope in Tacoma, Washington.

L’arche Tahoma Hope is a charity that runs a series of homes in the Tacoma area. These homes – mostly just ordinary houses, but one is a small farm – are places where small groups of developmentally disabled adults live along with L’arche volunteers and workers. These developmentally disabled individuals are not able to live on their own and often come from families who are extremely challenged to care for them.

What L’arche does is provide a community situation for these individuals to live in. The people who work for L’arche live in these homes right alongside the developmentally disabled members of L’arche, helping the people there live the most full life possible in a community of their peers, where everyone is valued regardless of their disability.

When I’ve visited there, I’ve been amazed to see how developmentally disabled people have had the opportunity to live a full, social, happy life where they have friends who view them as valuable equals, something that would be very difficult for them to have in almost any other situation.

You don’t have to spend much time there to see the enormous positive impact on the lives of the people who live there. At the same time, I’d be the first to admit that it takes someone with special skills and a special heart to do the work that needs to be done to make this possible.

Even a cursory look at their annual report – they leave their books pretty wide open for anyone to look – reveals that they manage to pull this off with a surprising lack of funds, considering they run four fully-staffed homes. They don’t waste money there, and they make use of every single dime they can get.

Please, if you’ve even considered giving a dollar to me or to The Simple Dollar in the past, channel that giving to L’arche Tahoma Hope. If you’ve ever wanted a small charity to champion, consider L’arche. Every dollar helps.

You can visit the L’arche Tahoma Hope website here.

Thank you.

(I not only wrote this for today’s post, but for the ability to share this link in the future with people who write to me asking to donate money.)

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