To paraphrase the Buddhist vow: Wounds are numberless; we vow to tend them all. With so much anguish and pain, remember that all the rivers and oceans of the world are made of tiny mists and drops falling into streams, joining each other, flowing and rising together. All our responses, personal or bold, are needed to turn the tide and mend the grief and suffering, the broken hearts and shattered dreams.
In this time of masks and distances, Living Earth’s community compassion and service programs are in transition to respond to urgent needs. Pitch in by volunteering, creating art, rounding up resources, playing music, fetching and delivering, or donating funds. Details are in the 3 projects outlined below. Whether tending pain right nearby or addressing deep collective injuries, we can all be part of healing the suffering that’s so evident now. Simple actions of compassion, courage, and resilience fall like spring rain on this parched and thirsty world.
We’re responding in 3 ways:
1. Opposing racism, injustice and oppression:
Resistance is the Secret of Joy
Alice Walker’s potent statement has never been more true than today, when our black brothers and sisters are wounded and grieving and militarized police block our cries for justice and change. Living Earth volunteers are providing store-prepared food, water, snack bars, masks, hand sanitizer, first-aid supplies, and personal hygiene items to our brothers and sisters in the streets protesting the horror that killed George Floyd and resisting the surge of police oppression and the truth of racial violence in Portland. We’ll also be convening zoom opportunities to reflect on white supremacy and systemic racism, and actions to root it out and dismantle it. What can you do?
- Grocery store gift cards for foods and supplies are needed for protesters as well as for black kids and families traumatized by the aggression and violence.
- Give what you can to help us provide first aid supplies, foods and other support for protesters risking their safety and health to stand up for justice for black lives and communities of color in Portland. Note “Black Lives” when you donate and 100% of your contribution will be directed to this need. Contact us with “Black lives” in your subject line, or mail asap to Living Earth, PO Box 86834, Portland, OR, 97286.
Living Earth is a 501(c)(3) community benefit organization, and donations are tax deductible.
100% of gifts designated for these programs are used only for this work.
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2. Addressing Indigenous needs due to the pandemic:
Pandemic Response for Warm Springs
Indigenous communities across the country have received little to no support from the federal government to face the reality of Covid-19 spreading among families living in multigenerational homes, some without running water. In late spring, Living Earth delivered 300 surgical masks for care providers at the Tribal Health and Wellness Center on the Warm Springs Reservation, the frontline pandemic response center at Warm Springs. On July 8, we will deliver 500 more masks to Warm Springs, with food and other supplies. How can you help? Here’s how:
- In-kind food supplies: Individual bottled water and juices; canned tuna; ramen noodles; soups and beans; small jars of peanut butter and jam, mayo and mustard; small-portion prepackaged foods such as Cup o’ Soup, crackers, snacks. These foods are for tribal members testing positive for Covid-19, so they and their families can eat easily and safely while maintaining physical distance to keep families safe.
- Home-made reuseable masks: Personal reusable masks are also needed at Warm Springs. If you are making masks, we can add them to our delivery in July. Questions? Please contact us.
Deliver donated items by July 6 to 3841 SE 51st Ave, SE Portland. Leave them on the porch if we’re not here. Please include your contact info so we can thank you. Or contact us by July 3 so we can connect to get your contributions where they are needed.
Donate financial support if you can, so we can purchase more masks, gloves, water, hand sanitizer, and foods for the Tribes and other marginalized communities cut off from government and financial support. Just note Pandemic or Warm Springs when you donate for this project; we’ll send confirmation of that use of your contribution.
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3. Meeting basic needs for food, human connection and dignity.
Brown Bags, Revised: Everyone needs to eat. Everyone.
- FOOD! Rather than bringing our volunteers together to make and distribute food to folks out on the street, we are currently supporting the downtown youth agency, P!ear. P!ear is feeding hundreds of people a day since the the pandemic struck, and we are directing funds from our Brown Bag budget to help provide food. Meanwhile, some of us are making lunches in our kitchens, with scrupulously mindful, clean efforts, so people living on nearby sidewalks can have a decent meal. Want more info? Drop us a note. Or make a donation for Brown Bags.
- ART! Help us create art on Brown Bags for Potluck in the Park’s weekly outdoor food distribution, serving hundreds of folks in need. Simple collages, marker pen designs, sketches or painted designs — all are welcome! If you love to share art, please contact us to coordinate getting bags and sharing art ideas so you can help us decorate hundreds and hundreds of bags.
- MUSIC – Musicians needed! If you’re a musician and want spend an hour or two playing your banjo or fiddle, flute or tambura or trombone outdoors while folks get their meals at Potluck in the Park (in bags that our volunteers will be decorating), please get in touch!
Donate here for Brown Bags Note that you are supporting Brown Bags, and we’ll confirm that contribution.