40th Anniversary

Comments from the Volunteer Intern Training January 2024

Karen & Simon Fox
Founder and Executive Director

This week in February 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the Adventures in Caring program—when Karen Fox made her very first visit to patients at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Valentine’s Day 1984, dressed as Raggedy Ann.

Today, the program looks a little different, but for all 40 years it has stayed true to its original purpose: to lift the spirits of people who are seriously ill, injured or dying.

The video above is a glimpse behind the scenes of our most recent training for volunteer interns who are learning how to dispense the medicine of compassion.

These young people are undergraduates who are preparing for careers in health care. Through Adventures in Caring they learn the human side of health care—they develop the emotional intelligence, listening skills, and compassion to befriend those facing serious illnesses and the end of life. They learn how to bring out the best in people who are feeling at their worst. They bridge the gap that has grown between generations. This is a remarkable accomplishment in 18-22 year-olds. As you might imagine, it is life changing.

This unique program exists largely thanks to the support and participation of the community of Santa Barbara, and the young people who were educated here. And yet, the ripple of compassion generated locally by Adventures in Caring has improved the human element in health care far and wide. 

We hope you will consider a gift to help Adventures in Caring continue teaching and dispensing the medicine of compassion.

And, we hope you will pass this on to your friends, family and colleagues who may be interested in how young people can learn to communicate well with older generations. Especially during times of crisis or ill health.

We’ve often been told that the Adventures in Caring program and its educational resources are something the whole world needs. We need your help to let the whole world know. Please pass this on.

With much appreciation,

Simon Fox