Great Lakes YOU Sparks Inter-generational EarthCare Project

Published on: June 1, 2011

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by Linda Stalvey

The passion, energy, and idealism of youth met the intensity, wisdom and experience of the adult on a bus ride from Great Lakes Fall Unitreat.  By the end of the ride, Ben Georgoff, regional YOU communications officer, and Chuck Holman, Great Lakes EarthCare coordinator, planted the seed and grew a sapling for the Great Lakes Region YOU EarthCare Project.

In less than six months, this dynamic twosome developed a structure to ensure education, expansion and continuation of an EarthCare project rapidly crossing the boundaries of the Great Lakes Region.

Ben now adds the responsibility as executive director of youth EarthCare to his regional YOU office. “I read a lot about volunteer structure and management before developing our structure. It has certainly helped a lot.” Organizationally, Ben’s box resides under Chuck’s, but the bond formed by these two talented and devoted individuals cannot be put in a box.

The YOU EarthCare team consists of Angelina [Anja] Cousineau from Appleton, Wisconsin, director of coaching; Hannah Princic from Chesterland, Ohio, director of program development; and Ben Greaves from Kalamazoo, Michigan, director of media. Each teen interviewed for the position and committed to six to twelve months of service. At six months, the project will be re-evaluated.

Ben hosts a weekly conference call for YOU members interested in developing EarthCare within their chapter and spiritual community. Prior to the call, his core team meets to plan and discuss needs. A YOU website,, went live at the end of March. Ben moved the site to—a green server that promotes itself as 300% wind powered.  Facebook also has a Great Lakes Region YOU EarthCare group.

The Great Lakes YOU EarthCare team spearheaded Covenanting Sunday, a ceremony related to Track A of the Unity EarthCare Program.  The first Covenant Sunday was held on April 3rd, and more are being planned.  Approximately ten churches participated, including a few spiritual communities from outside of the region.

Ben anticipates a rapid move toward national and international growth of the project. He is scheduled to present at International YOU. In April, Anja and Hannah presented at Spirit’s Light Foundation with Chuck. Ben has already introduced the project at sub-regional YOU events. After June rally and graduation, he will remain as executive director of the Great Lakes YOU EarthCare Project, to ensure the initiative is solid.

“We’re going to inherit this planet someday,” says Ben.  “I truly believe EarthCare is part of the mindshift that will bring this planet to peace.  Will you support our future?”


Linda Stalvey served as a member of the Great Lakes Region EarthCare Team.

Diane Venzera
Rev Diane Venzera is Chair Emeritus of UWM's Board of Trustees. She serves as youth minister for Unity Northwest Church, Des Plaines, Ill., and as youth ministry training director for the Great Lakes Region. She is a writer of Living Curriculum lessons and products for Unity youth ministry programs.

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