We are quick to point out the flaws in our government. We must be as diligent in pointing out the good.
What happened Wednesday at the Prime Chophouse was good.
In a society where inclusion is being so prominently stressed, the provincial government’s funding boost to the L’Arche I Belong! Campaign was more than a token handshake.
Comox Valley MLA Don McRae presented the campaign committee with a $250,000 cheque Wednesday morning – an amount that accounts for nearly 15 per cent of the campaign’s total goal.
L’Arche Comox Valley describes itself as “a community of people with and without developmental disabilities sharing their lives together.”
The I Belong! Campaign is a fundraising initiative by L’Arche Comox Valley, with the purpose of building a six-unit residential facility for its developmentally challenged clients and those who assist them.
The campaign addresses the very real dilemma faced by developmentally challenged adults in our community.
Children with developmental challenges have a variety of resources – families, educational, and social programs and agencies – they can turn to for support. But what happens when those children reach adulthood? That is the question the I Belong! Campaign, and the proposed 8,200-square-foot facility, will address.
The total cost of the project is budgeted at $1.7 million.
The provincial government’s contribution has vaulted the campaign into “Phase Two” of the project. Now the committee can begin the process of sending work to tender. But there is still plenty of work to be done before ground can be broken on the construction.
“The bank needed a minimum of $800,000 to give us the go-ahead,” said I Belong! campaign development co-ordinator Tara Laderoute. “We have to make sure people realize that we are not done fundraising. We are at the point now where we know it’s going to happen, but we need more help.”
Now is the time for those who were hesitant to get on board without the assurance of the project going ahead to loosen the purse strings.
The work being done by everyone involved with L’Arche Comox Valley cannot be overstated. The society offers its clients a sense of belonging, and a community-minded environment. The new facility will allow a certain level of independence for its residents – a level unachievable under other circumstances.
The diversity of its people is the foundation of a thriving community.
The more inclusive we become, the more enriched we become.
L’Arche programs and homes have been enriching communities worldwide ever since its creation in France, in 1964.
The provincial government helped L’Arche Comox Valley take another huge stride in its effort to enrich our community on Wednesday. For that, we should be thankful.
Terry Farrell is the editor of the Comox Valley Record