Helping Hands

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 morning glory babies

Ever since we came together as a community, we have endeavored to respond to the needs of those around us. We have always been especially concerned with helping children, but do our best to answer any call for help that comes our way. Our current projects include helping our neighbors in need, creating a safe sacred space for young people interested in organic farming, and conserving our beautiful land.

AIDS

001In 1981, the first cases of AIDS were reported. Soon, millions had been affected by the virus and it became a global pandemic. Before proper medicines were developed, many children were contracting the disease from their mothers and were left without much hope of surviving past their first few years of life. After seeing a news report on the living conditions some of these children were experiencing, we here at Starcross decided we could help.

We began taking in children affected by AIDS, caring for them, and giving them a loving home, as well as the medical care they needed. We expanded our efforts into Romania and Uganda after learning of huge numbers of children in need in those countries, as well. To learn more, click on the links below:

AIDS & Starcross

Tina Caring Association

If you would like to read further on this, Brother Toby wrote two memoirs during our time working with AIDS, Morning Glory Babies and Childsong, Monksong.

Redwoods and Nature Conservation

image (9)Our home used to be surrounded by huge coastal redwood forests. Then the loggers came in and many of the trees were cut down. They are slowly making a comeback, but we do our part to help them along. In January 2016, we planted our first group of redwood seedlings and hope to continue planting a group each year.

We have also designated a section of our property to be “forever wild,” protected from development, logging, or farming. It is a quiet area and once you are among the trees, everything else fades away. We hope to one day acquire a conservation easement to protect this land forever and preserve the natural sacredness of our quiet grove of tall trees. To read more about our land, click here.

WWOOF

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Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a program that connects young people looking to volunteer on small-scale, family-run organic farms with farms that need some helping hands. Many of these young individuals also use this time for spiritual growth and introspection. We have hosted WWOOFers from all over the world through this program. They stay in our 1902 farmhouse, work several hours a day, and have the rest of their time to explore our surrounding countryside and beautiful coastline. Click here to visist our profile on the WWOOF USA website.

Food Pantry

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The secluded rural region of northwest Sonoma county that we call home is beautiful, but it is also woefully under-served, in terms of social programs for those in need. Our Food Pantry provides much-needed nutrition and sustenance for local families who struggle at times to make ends meet. We run the pantry every first and third Friday from 2-4 pm; local volunteers and our farm volunteers organize and facilitate the Food Pantry.

ESL Class

photo 1 (3)For many of our neighbors, English is not their first language. Several of our employees and volunteers had experience in teaching English, so we began offering free classes once a week. We provide textbooks, English/Spanish dictionaries, notebooks, and other necessary materials. Our first “semester” of classes was very successful and we look forward to offering more classes in the future.