Beginning in 2022, The Hearth received funding from the Oregon Community Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, and the Carpenter Foundation to pilot practices that increase healing, resiliency, and sustainability for those community members who serve the public.

In collaboration with Trauma Informed Oregon, we are piloting a series of “Care for Community Builders” retreats that assist local social service providers in embodying a greater sense of wellbeing and empowerment through engaging a number of “folk medicines”–story, song, silence, play, nature, and other communal practices. In a time of increasing turmoil and divisiveness, decreasing mental health, and escalating demands on those who engage the public, we are exploring healing environments where participants can learn the skills and structures needed for individual and collective healing.

This past spring, we held a retreat at Buckhorn Springs outside of Ashland for community builders from Siskiyou County who serve in long term recovery groups, resource centers, schools, and more. We were delighted to provide them a space for rest, relaxation, and learning. With Hearth support, Curandera Sylvia Poareo and community leader Laura Milette have led “Migrant Mama” retreats for local women leaders from Spanish speaking communities.

These women, who primarily serve as volunteers, are given time and space from their demanding responsibilities to remember ancestral practices of healing, grounding, and connection. The Hearth will continue to pilot wellbeing programs for community builders through summer of 2024, with the hopes of producing resources and trainings for organizations and individuals statewide.

Responses from participants in our Care for Community Builders programs:

For many of us, we don’t realize how much tension we are holding until we stop enough to feel it. The two day retreat felt like one long breath of fresh air. I left feeling more connected, inspired and supported.

We learned great tools to manage stress and carry the weight of our work in a more sustainable way.

There was times for stillness and reflection, as well as laughter and celebration of ourselves as individuals fighting for our communities.

For those of us that are consistently putting our needs on the back burner to care for others this retreat was an absolute blessing!

A chance to focus on our own needs and learn how to incorporate self-care and healing into our busy lives.

This was the first time in a long time in which I physically felt rested. What a healing experience with such loving people.

Anyone that is dealing with any type of trauma should participate in this retreat.

If you are interested in learning more about these retreats for your organization please email