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Simon Fox

  • Broadcast in Caregiving
Bright Side with Tekneshia

Bright Side with Tekneshia


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Simon Fox, Executive Director of the Adventures in Caring Foundation (AiC), is pioneering the education of the heart. For 30 years AiC has taught the art and practice of compassion—as a skill that restores well-being and promotes healing. Their work is now recognized globally.

Adventures in Caring is based in Santa Barbara and despite its small size it is having a big impact. Founded by Simon’s wife, Karen Fox, in 1984, the nonprofit is most famous for its Raggedy Ann and Andy volunteers who visit local nursing homes and hospitals to lift the spirits of patients who are lonely. What is less well known is who is under those wigs, what they discovered, and how far their influence has spread.

Many people still think that compassion cannot be taught—considering it a personality trait that’s either there or not. Others think of compassion as a philosophy or a feeling. Under Karen and Simon’s tutelage, Adventures in Caring has taken it a step further: compassion as a verb—the practical skill of getting it across to a person who is sick or injured so that they realize that you care and they no longer feel alone. Fox says “That’s when the magic happens—when the other person gets it. That’s when you see their body language change, their vital signs improve, and their outlook become more hopeful.” He says this is the secret of all great nurses, physicians, and health care practitioners—they know the language of healing that lifts the spirits, dispels loneliness, and inspires the will to heal.