Compassion means caring enough to respond: to actively engage to ease pain, comfort sorrow, oppose injustice and oppression.
The wounds of our world, immense and small, can seem endless, and none of us can solve all the problems, wipe all the tears, right all the wrongs, or ease all the pain. But we each express kindness every day in response to those around us. Bringing that intention into a conscious framework and taking action with others strengthens the benefit of service and compassion, for ourselves and the world.
Each action we take – in love, with love, for love – affirms our own humanity and touches the dignity and humanity of those to whom we respond, one heart at a time.
Our simple Brown Bag Project brings us together to prepare hearty, nutritious lunches for hungry folks on the streets. No questions, no judgment, just good food – because everyone needs to eat. We deliver them one by one to people on street corners, huddled under bridges, living without homes. Since this small program began eight years ago, we have served thousands of meals, shared hugs and handshakes and laughter and tears, and listened to countless stories. Brown Bags is practice of awakening for us. No experience required, just a willing heart and a few hours of your time.
Winter Warming connects creative compassion with folks in need, to keep the whole community warm in winter. Here’s how it works:Mostly anonymous craftsfolk become Winter Warming Bodhisattvas to help others stay warm. November through January, our Winter Warming drop-baskets are in eastside New Seasons Markets, Albina Community Bank branches, and other Portland area businesses, to receive donations of new, handmade hats, scarves, blankets, shawls, mitts, and more. Folks knit and crochet wherever they are: on the bus, while watching TV or listening to podcasts, at their own pace and time, and then drop off their items in the baskets.
Living Earth volunteers pick up donations at all sites every week, to distribute individually to folks outdoors and through local partner groups serving vulnerable populations, such as IRCO, Rose Haven for Women, Meals on Wheels, Adelante Mujeres, Portland Public School Clothes Closet, and many others.
You don’t sew or knit? No problem! Non-crafters can also volunteer to help this program flourish with data entry, pick-ups and distributions. Contact us to find out how you can help keep the Winter Warming Project strong.
More about Winter Warming Drop Locations Here!