OUR HISTORY AND FOUNDER
R. D. “Del” Anderson, 1906 – 2008
Del Anderson was born in San Francisco in 1906, in Red Cross tents after the great earthquake and fire that year. He was a natural businessman and a charismatic people-person. He started out delivering dry cleaning in Oakland when he was a teenager and eventually was able to buy his own dry cleaning shop in Alameda, CA.
Del was a mystic and interested in exploring spiritual questions about his purpose, and his connection with others and with God. Central to his spirituality was daily contemplative meditation focused on listening to God, and writing down the inspiration that came to him.
Throughout his life, Del had a passion for working for peace and for helping people realize their worth and potential. He was a much-loved Boy Scout Troop Leader of Oakland’s Troop 123 and was President of Camps Farthest Out International (CFOI) from 1973-83. During his time with CFOI Del developed many friendships and relationships with people all around the world. Until the end of his life, Del sent letters, information, and inspirational texts to people across the United States and around the world
Spirit in Action International grew out of Del’s international work with CFOI. He recognized that in addition to sharing spirituality, there was a need to sharing information about self-help and entrepreneurship. Del felt that we must serve the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.
Spirit in Action was founded in 1996 in California. Marsha Johnson served as the first administrator, from 1995-2007. Then, Tanya Cothran, who was a Board Member from 2004-2007, took on the role of Administrator, and eventually Executive Director.
After his “graduation” at the age of 102 in 2008, Del’s legacy of encouragement, passionate service, and building connection and community continue. In addition to supporting Spirit in Action International, his Trust gave support to 37 organizations promoting peace, prosperity, poverty reduction, human rights and children’s education.
We are proud to continue Del’s legacy, while also growing into a mature and independent organization.