Living Earth began in 1998 and since that time has been served by a mostly rotating board and a fluid circle of talented and caring volunteers. Living Earth grew out of an idea that Betsy Toll articulated, and Betsy has been the vision-holder and anchor of Living Earth since the beginning. She serves as an unpaid Executive Director, project coordinator, and facilitator. Betsy has been exploring spiritual practice, conscious social action, and service for more than thirty years. A writer and editor, she counts Ram Dass and Joanna Macy as treasured dharma teachers, and honors numerous other teachers as well, including Catherine Ingram, Joan Halifax, and Frank Ostaseski. With encouragement from Ram Dass and Joanna, Betsy began leading dharma workshops and retreats in 2003. She volunteers as a hospital chaplain and offers programs in the Portland area and at Breitenbush Hot Springs.
Our Brown Bag team encompasses a lot of volunteers who pitch in at different times. Pictured here, Nancy Richardson (seated), former board member Mark Nedleman, Brook Gutman, Bev Stadick, and Paul Campbell with some of the 100 Brown Bags they filled that morning for hungry folks on the streets. In the photo below, volunteers Judy Todd (who also previously served on the board) and Ron Beed preparing a Living Earth dinner at a homeless transitional housing shelter.
Countless wonderful people have contributed to Living Earth’s projects and events, and have lent their skill and talent to our programs, deepening our principles and practices, and nurturing the spirit of Living Earth. Thousands of others have voluntered, attended, or participated in other ways in our programs. Each of these individuals – and anyone who shares our values and vision of a just, peaceful, vibrant and peaceful world that works for all – are “members” of Living Earth, part of who we are.
More photos will be added to this page as we dig through archives and find new shots of some of the beautiful people who are the heart of Living Earth.