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Adventures In Caring
updated: May 24, 2014, 10:00 AM

Adventures in Caring supports the heart and soul during illness. People who are facing a serious illness or injury are also facing their mortality - so they need more than medical care. They need to experience compassion. The sick and injured have been forcefully reminded that life is short and health is precious. Their world has often been turned upside down. Hopes and dreams have been damaged or lost. Such a traumatic event in life is "an opportunity dressed in rags". In this dark place we need a soul friend. We need to know that someone cares.

Based in Santa Barbara, Calif., the adventure began on Valentine's Day 1984, when founding director Karen Fox stepped through the doors of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital dressed as Raggedy Ann to visit patients.

Our Mission

The Adventures in Caring mission is to lift the spirits of those who are sick and lonely - to bring hope, encouragement, and joy to those who are isolated by illness or injury.

The grief, fear, and despair that people so often experience when faced with a serious illness or injury - when facing their mortality - is not a medical problem, and it has no medical solution. There is no pill or medical treatment for such deep emotional suffering, such soul pain. It is a human problem and the only solution is human contact, with someone who cares, listens, and connects at a deeply heartfelt level.

The second aspect of the Adventures in Caring mission is to cultivate compassion in health care. Five powerful trends are pushing the human qualities of kindness and compassion to the fringes of health care. Technological, economic, regulatory, litigious, and demographic forces are having a de-humanizing effect on the delivery of health care. So the Adventures in Caring mission is also to give caregivers - professionals and volunteers - the inspiration, skills, and materials they need to stay true to heart, and apply compassion in their service of healing.

Adventures in Caring is a nonprofit, 501(c)3, health and human services organization, based in Santa Barbara, California. Our programs receive no government funding, they are supported entirely by private donations and private grants, plus sales of our publications. One hundred percent of your donation goes directly into supporting the programs that teach and deliver compassion.

The adventure in caring is found in being a good companion on the journey of healing. By facing the unknown together, we discover a love that transforms suffering.

Our Vision

The vision of Adventures in Caring is to give health care an infusion of compassion - authentic compassion that promotes healing of body and mind, heart and soul - healing that restores the balance of life throughout our community and world.

We seek to fundamentally change the way people relate to those who are sick, injured and dying, by:

Focusing on abilities, not just disabilities. Because… people are more than patients - they are unique individuals, with strengths, resources and abilities.
Taking an interest in lives, not just bodies. Because… life is more than the body living longer - it is the quality of our experiences and the meaning they hold.
Welcoming participation from the sick and injured, rather than only doing things to them or for them. Because… healing is more than medical treatment - it is a partnership, a journey, and a spiritual opportunity. Everyone has a role to play.
Giving assistance as equal partners in the healing process, not as superiors helping the less fortunate. Because… we have something to learn from those at the edge of life - they are not invalid just because they are ill.
Listening and leaning closer to painful situations, rather than avoiding or attacking them. Because… compassion is more than a feeling - it is showing up and connecting with people in their darkest hour. It is the power of love at work, transforming suffering.

This is how we put the practice of compassion into the service of healing.health care, authentic compassion

Instead of only seeing pathology and disabilities, we call patients to life and health by also appreciating their abilities, strengths and resources. We overcome the impersonal, mechanistic, degrading interactions that demean the human spirit and inhibit healing. We do this by treating people with dignity and compassion, and becoming partners in the cause of healing.

To learn more, visit their website: http://www.adventuresincaring.org/about/


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