Mindful Littles is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded by a mother who banded together with some local mothers determined to create a world of courageous kind children. The first Mindful Littles service project began as a neighborhood drive in our founder’s backyard, where 15 families gathered to make beautiful hygiene kits for foster care youth. The project made a deep impact on the group with even one participant saying, ”I held more doors open for people in the last few days than I think I have in my life. Your words were heard.”
Some time after the first project, we discovered that the first service project coincidentally had taken place on Gandhi’s birthday, October 2. Since then our work has taken off, but our intention remains the same. It is Gandhi’s message of fierce love, compassion and peace that continue to guide Mindful Littles and embody the essence of our work.
How We Are Different
Practice compassion by starting with yourself.
“Peace in Oneself, Peace in the World.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Service is often viewed as an external action – something you do to benefit others. Our approach is to start with self-compassion through mindfulness, to connect to the universal truths that we can all understand and appreciate. We not only offer yoga and mindfulness classes, but we weave mindfulness and yoga into all our service learning projects. Learn more about our Yoga & Mindfulness program.
Focus on the youngest generations.
“If we want to reach real peace in this world, we should start educating children.” – Mahatma Gandhi
We focus on our youngest generations for a few reasons. First, the benefits of early childhood education have been widely recognized, and the importance of teaching compassion at these earliest ages can’t be understated. Children are born compassionate beings and if we can nurture their social and emotional capacities from a young age, we will provide them with resiliency tools that can last a lifetime. While our work does target elementary age children, we do have a powerful Youth Leadership program to involve older youth to be guiding forces for our littles.
Deliver WOW through compassion experiences.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin
It’s been widely recognized that children are more likely to retain what they learn through active learning processes. According to the Learning Pyramid, children retain about 5% of what they learn from lectures, 10% from reading, 75% from experiences and 90% from teaching others or immediate use. Inspiring our children to be more mindful and compassionate requires us as educators to not only think about creative experiential teaching methods but to think more deeply about creating meaningful moving experiences that touch and open hearts. The Mindful Littles experiences seek to have a wow effect on youth to create a spark in children and help them Live in their Hearts. Learn more about our Service Learning Experiences.
Support parents and educators to sustain compassion practices.
“It takes a village to raise a child.” -African Proverb
Many parents value the importance of teaching their children about compassion and mindfulness but struggle to know how or prioritize it in everyday busy lives. Our work supports parents in their journey by making service learning experiences not only accessible and easy for parents, but also meaningful. We provide everyday practical tips that parents can integrate into day to day lives. Check out our Parenting Blog & Resources.
Elevate other nonprofits and support institutions that serve youth.
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller
We are a community platform and enhance the work of other nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and youth groups. Currently many nonprofit organizations cannot accommodate young children onsite because of the operational burden on their organization. By organizing service learning programs that support another community cause, we elevate awareness for many nonprofits who otherwise wouldn’t be able to cater to young families. Institutions such as public schools or churches have great intentions to offer service learning programs for youth, but often due to competing priorities are unable to provide these programs. By organizing every aspect of a service learning project, institutions are able to offer important service learning programs for their students.
“Children are like buds in a garden and should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are the future of tomorrow and the citizens of tomorrow.” – Jawaharlal Nehru