About Us

Mission & Vision

The Adventures in Caring Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Barbara, California. We teach and apply compassion as a practical, teachable communication skill that supports healing.

MISSION. Our mission is two-fold:

  1. Advance nursing, doctoring, and caregiving by teaching the art and practice of communicating with compassion—to enable the well-being of those who suffer.
  2. Improve well-being and reduce distress for those who are severely ill, injured, or dying, and suffering alone.

GOAL: We aim to improve the ability to relate well with anyone who is suffering, and as a result, build a healing partnership that first, does no harm and second, enables well-being.

VISION: To cultivate the practice of compassion throughout all of health care, and so support the healing of the whole person: body, mind, heart, and soul.

The greatest pain on Earth is not the pain of hunger or poverty, but rather the pain of isolation, abandonment and feeling unloved.

—Mother Teresa of Calcutta


The grief, anxiety, and despair that people so often experience when faced with a serious illness or injury, when facing their mortality, is not a medical problem and it has no medical solution. There is no pill or medical treatment for this deep emotional suffering that some call soul pain. It is a human problem and the only solution is human contact, with someone who cares, listens, and connects with heart.

In the high stakes, high stress world of health care, the absence of compassionate listening skills can be lethal. Miscommunication leads to misunderstanding which causes mistakes, and people get hurt. Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., a far cry from the founding principle of the healing arts: First, do no harm.

Compassion is like air: it seems like no big deal—until you can’t get any.

Who Benefits?

Karen and Simon Fox
Founder and Director of Adventures in Caring

See Karen’s story here
About Simon here
AiC Team Members here

from the Latin root compati: ‘suffer with.’
   com—together or with
   pati—to suffer or feel intensely

The art of being with those who are suffering.

Compassion is fundamental to any healthy, sustainable community. It is the magnetism that holds people, families, and communities together. Simple kindness, common decency, healthy relationships, and civic engagement are all based on compassion. Without compassion, selfishness prevails, goodwill decays, suffering crushes the soul, and a community degenerates into a war-zone. Compassion is often given lip service and taken for granted, but rarely is it deliberately taught as a practical skill that everyone can learn.

This ability is crucial because there is a point in human experience when all plans, programs and procedures, fail. At this point, the only thing that makes sense is compassion. This is the pivotal moment when Adventures in Caring changes the quality of life, and benefits all of the following:

FRAIL LONELY ELDERS who are chronically ill and facing the end of life alone are befriended by our student volunteers who put their compassion into practical action. As a result, loneliness is reduced, depression counteracted, agitation calmed, lucidity improved, a measure of joy and hope restored, and well-being can flourish. 

studying to become our future doctors, nurses and allied health professionals build emotional intelligence, communication skill, and capacity for compassion—before their professional training begins. They learn by volunteering for one year in nursing homes through our award-winning, service-learning internship in relationship-centered care.

HEALTH PROFESSIONALS and EMERGENCY SERVICES teams on the front lines of health care improve their ability to communicate with patients and each other, to build the healing partnerships that restore well-being. They also gain tools to guard against burnout, build resilience, and sustain their compassion.

gain ready-made, multidisciplinary trainings that inspire, inform and make communicating compassion a visible, practical, teachable skill that anyone can learn. Health professionals, pre-professionals and community volunteers see exactly how compassion is communicated through powerful video footage of good, real life examples.

Adventures in Caring programs receive no government funding—they are supported entirely by private donations, private grants and earnings from our trainings and publications. Overhead is covered by earned income and restricted grants so that 100% of all donations can go directly into supporting the programs that teach and deliver compassion.