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Founded in 1975, Sierra Service Project was inspired by and modeled after Appalachia Service Project. Originally founded by several United Methodist Church ministers, SSP is now an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organizationFor much of SSP’s history, our week-long summer home repair projects have been in partnership with Indigenous tribes throughout the Western United States. SSP has worked with over forty Indigenous communities and non-native rural and urban communities.

SSP is aware we have many areas to grow in our expression of anti-racism. Our leadership is, and has historically been, primarily white. We continue to work towards fostering inclusive and BIPOC-elevating spaces. We hope to be transparent in our ongoing efforts to create equitable and safe spaces as a network of helpers, justice-seekers, healers, and community builders.

  • 1969: Appalachia Service Project (ASP) established; Rev. Tex Evans brings 50 volunteers to Frakes, Kentucky for 4 weeks.
  • 1975: ASP sponsors satellite operations in California, Alabama, Texas, and North Dakota (all except CA have since closed).
  • 1976: Sierra Service Project’s first summer; 1 site operated with leadership by Rev. Dave Wolf and Floyd McKeithen.
  • 1978: SSP operates 2 summer sites.
  • 1979: Incorporates as an independent nonprofit.
  • 1993: Paige Eaves is hired as the first full time Executive Director.
  • 1994: Expands to 3 summer sites; operates 1st site outside of California (Arizona).
  • 1998: Expands to 4 summer sites.
  • 2001: Young Adult Program piloted. Rick and Toni Eaton are hired as Executive Director and Administrator.
  • 2002: 1st tool trailer purchased.
  • 2003: Honduras Homebuilding Program established. Expands to 5 summer sites.
  • 2004: Urban Los Angeles program established.
  • 2006: Associate Director hired. First Alternative Break in Los Angeles. Expands to 6 summer sites.
  • 2008: Middle School Program established. Tijuana, Mexico Program piloted (only year).
  • 2009: Project Consultant and Intern hired.
  • 2010: Expands to 7 summer sites. 2,071 youth and adults participate in the Summer Program, largest to date.
  • 2011: Weekends of Service established in Sacramento and Portland. Central American program moved to Guatemala.
  • 2013: Partnership with Seeds of Learning in Nicaragua began. Bookkeeper hired.
  • 2014: Combined Middle and High School Program and Individual Youth Program established. Communications and Volunteer Coordinators hired.
  • 2015: 40th year of service to youth and adults! Phoenix Weekends of Service piloted.
  • 2016: Rancho Cordova Neighborhood Beautification Program established in partnership with the city. First summer ever in the state of Washington.
  • 2017: First summer hosting Intergenerational groups, offering service experiences to a wider range of volunteers and promoting cross-generational learning.
  • 2020: 45th year of service. 1st year working in SSP’s home community in North Sacramento. Piloted online summer program due to impact of COVID-19.
  • 2021: Launched SSP’s first Community Advisory Council and Youth Advisory Council. Hosted 2nd online summer program due to COVID-19. Resumed Days of Service in Sacramento.
  • 2022: Returned to in-person overnight service with a 99% Covid-19 case prevention rate. Programs involved more opportunities for community-based partnership.
  • 2023: we returned to work with our long-standing community partners in the Navajo Nation and Del Norte County, focusing on high-impact home repairs, environmental restoration, and various other service-learning opportunities. We also piloted two Sacramento-based programs:
    • The Sacramento Sustainability Academy workforce development program, funded by the City of Sacramento.
    • A secular overnight summer program and Days of Service for local youth, funded in part by the City of Rancho Cordova.
Tex Evans
Tex Evans