About Us

EARTH LINKS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation with a 25 year commitment to protecting the environment and supporting sustainable, healthy communities.

We are an organization that acts whenever possible as a catalyst for positive social and environmental change. We form coalitions with other nonprofit organizations for specific projects that one organization cannot accomplish alone. Earth Links also undertakes projects when we see an unrecognized need that our staff and volunteers are able to address.


  • where groups are working against great odds and need innovative solutions and technology.
  • where the results and goals come from the community’s stated needs.
  • where the skills of our staff and volunteers can make the greatest difference.


Our most important projects are those that extend over a number of years and involve collation building, managing training and educational projects, as well as the transfer of innovative technologies. Thanks to our generous donors and their commitments we have had the opportunity to launch these longer term initiatives in environmental protection, sustainable agriculture and community health with positive results.

In our experience, small nonprofit organizations are created with the hope of making a real difference. The areas of interest vary, but they often come to share a common problem: insufficient resources. Earth Links responds by assisting community-based nonprofits as well as small international NGOs to assess and address their needs, while helping them find future resources.  We also assist emerging nonprofit groups to form 501(c)(3) organizations.

We regularly partner with other nonprofits to produce documentary videos and provide still photography.  We’ve been involved with a variety of issues from indigenous rights, sustainable agriculture and the need for water conservation. These projects allow organizations and communities to tell their stories as well as raise awareness and funds. (See our “Videos” page here.)

We know that corporate and small business donations are critical to the successful support of volunteer and cash strapped not for profits. We have distributed over a million dollars worth of these supplies without cost to the organizations we work with.

100% of the donations Earth Links receives go directly to program expenses. This is possible because all of our administrative costs are donated by our board of directors. We are especially grateful to our advisors and skilled volunteers who believe in our work and help us keep our projects effective and our costs to a minimum.

Earth Links has been dedicated to bringing people and resources together since 1992 and we are based in Santa Cruz, California.

Our Board of Directors

Our board of directors includes: Stephen Leinau, Doolie Brown, and Lawrene Kovalenko.

Stephen Leinau is our Executive Director. He has a masters degree in Public Administration and more than thirty years of experience working with nonprofit organizations.  Stephen has been a Head Start teacher, a manger of group homes for autistic youth in Bedford Stuyvesant, NY, Director of the Harry Chapin Food Bank and manger of distribution for USDA Surplus Commodities on Long Island.  He was Executive Director of Sensory Integration International where he developed an international program of conferences/trainings/certification/publishing for Occupational and Physical Therapists.  As Earth Links’ Executive Director he has developed projects that include; NGO development, international training for health care professionals, environmental education and protection, as well as video and photography in support in of emerging social and environmental issues.

Doolie Brown is a filmmaker and still photographer. She has produced and directed multi-media productions, community theater and documentary videos. Doolie was a familiar face on television in the 70’s through the mid 80’s. She trained and appeared with “Instant Theater,” an improvisational theater group based in Los Angeles. Currently she’s the creator and director of Circus Theater, a traveling show featuring puppets, masks and live actors that traces the history of clowning from ancient Greece to the present.  Her photography now focuses primarily on highlighting the many successes of community-based nonprofit organizations.

Lawrene Kovalenko, MA, OTR/L, MFCC,  has been an occupational therapist and a marriage, family and child counselor in private practice for over 25 years. She studied at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, and is currently developing materials that address the interface of neuroscience and behavior.  Lawrene has been involved in many different projects addressing social issues of disenfranchised populations. Lawrene has had a life long interest in drawing and painting as well as designing sets and props for theater. She works as an occupational therapy consultant and also serves on the Board of Directors of the USC Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Department.