Archive for July, 2013


Riley’s Place; Creating Compassionate Communities

When I share the local purpose of the 1440 Foundation – to inspire, support and be inspired by local champions who are creating authentic relationships and building connected and compassionate communities – I am often met with a puzzled look and the same query:  what is a compassionate community?

Riley's Place Some say compassion begins with attention, others say that compassion is the foundation for a humane world.

Our belief is that a compassionate community can begin with a simple act of kindness, thoughtfulness or caring. When an opportunity to help others is acknowledged and acted on, the process of creating a compassionate community is borne.

Riley's Place Comic BookThat is how Riley’s Place came to be.

Riley’s Place was founded in 2009 by a group of people from the local community in honor of a young  lady named Riley Church. In 2006, Riley died at the age of 14 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. Riley’s love of nature and all animals – especially cats, dogs, horses, lambs and goats – shaped her joyful and compassionate spirit.

Riley's PlaceWhen Riley was no longer able to ride horses and spend time with other animals, friends brought a miniature horse to visit her at home. This visit became the inspiration for Riley’s Place and the programs that would bring the same benefits to other children in need.

Riley’s Place brings the healthful benefits of interacting with animals and nature to children with chronic or life threatening illness, children who have special needs, or children who are otherwise disadvantaged.

In recognition of service to others, Woodside Town Council proclaimed Saturday, June 1st as Riley’s Place Day and local firefighters passed their helmets to raise funds and awareness.  The Woodside Youth Committee also sold homemade baked goods, raffle tickets and notecards.

What can you do for your community to make it more compassionate?