Gratitude was the theme of this weekend’s Mindful Littles community service event.  Yesterday we got together with several families from our community to give a big Valentine’s Thank You gift to our local Moraga-Orinda Fire Department (MOFD) to thank them for their service.

During our event we heard from two local firefighters, got to tour a fire engine and learn about the different equipment they use.  In addition to explaining the types of calls they get and some fire safety tips, the firemen also explained to the kids how they deal with their own fears when fighting fires by relying on their training and camaraderie.

After hearing from the firemen, we got back together as a group to learn about what it means to be grateful.  Our families expressed that they are grateful for things like their families, the rain and shelter.  And we talked about how being grateful for the things in your life can make you happier.  In fact, a study by Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, shows practicing gratitude can increase happiness by 25%.

Once we centered ourselves and practiced gratitude, we then moved into the creative and thoughtful craft projects that Mary and Molly from our planning crew had set up.  We broke out into 5 fire station groups and created Valentine’s keepsake frames, personalized mugs and a care package crate for each MOFD station.  The crate was filled with food items that the firefighters need on a regular basis, as they often do a lot of their meal prep together while they are at the station.

A new addition to our event was an idea that Sarah from our planning team came up with.   She and Maya set up two mindful memory games in the corner of the event room.  During any downtime, or when the kids wanted to, they could go choose to play this mindful game to have some fun together. The activity was a big hit, so it’s something we would love to continue for future events.

We had a wonderful time during our event and learned a lot together.  We would love to do another Mindful Littles event with MOFD in the near future. As always, we want to give a huge thanks to the Orinda Community Church for graciously offering their space for our event.   And I would like to give a big thanks to the amazing Mindful Littles planning team (Mary Patel, Molly Hanahan, Sarah Bennett and Maya Vasudevan).  Without them these incredible events would not be possible!




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