Care for Community Builder Programs

What is a Care for Community Builder Retreat?

Care for Community Builder workshops and retreats provide creative spaces for rest, renewal, and restoration to those who work on the frontlines of local communities. Our Care for Community Builder programs assist those who serve the public in embodying a greater sense of well-being and empowerment through engaging a number of “folk medicines”–story, song, silence, movement, play, solitude in nature, and other communal practices. In a time of increasing turmoil and divisiveness, with escalating demands on those who engage the public, we offer healing environments where participants can take time for personal reflection, connect to others, and enjoy the pleasures of being alive.

Is this a therapeutic program?

Care for Community Builder retreats are not based in Western therapeutic models (one-on-one talking sessions with a therapist, etc.). Although the retreat will provide plenty of time for personal rest and reflection, the programming is focused on group practices (what we are calling “folk medicines”)—story sharing, singing, play, eating together, body movement, walking in nature, etc. In addition, we facilitate conversations on providing nurturing, “trauma-informed” work cultures and spaces.

Who leads these programs?

Our programs are produced by The Hearth, a community-building nonprofit based in Ashland, Oregon with support from The Ford Family Foundation, The Oregon Community Foundation, and the Carpenter Foundation. We often collaborate with other organizations including Trauma Informed Oregon and Connecting Within. Our retreats are led by author, spiritual director, and community builder Mark Yaconelli, and include Sylvia Poareo from Connecting Within, Christy da Rosa from Trauma Informed Oregon, and Susannah Cole from The Hearth.

Who can attend a Care for the Community Builder Program?

Our programs are open to individuals and organizations who serves as a community builders or frontline workers across Oregon and beyond. We work on a contract basis, with additional grant subsidized programs in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. Participants in past programs include the American Burn Association, Oregon Library Association, The Ford Family Foundation, Rogue Food Unites, Siskiyou County Disaster Resiliency Group, and many other agencies that serve the public good.

What is the cost for programs and retreats?

We negotiate each offering on a sliding scale depending on the needs of each organization. There are some grant funds to help fund programs for Spanish and English speaking individuals and organizations who serve communities within Oregon and Siskiyou County, California.

How do I get more information?

Contact The Hearth’s Operations Director Susannah Cole at