Giving $10.76 from “My Very Own Give Jar”

Like last year we are making #GivingTuesday a family affair by not only donating clothes, toys, books, and household items, but by also donating to four charities in honor of each family member. This year our family took our annual tradition a step further and decided to not only talk about the charities, but also empowered our 6-year old to give money from her very own Give Jar.   Read more

Making Mindful Meals for Thanksgiving

Food. One of the most important and basic human needs, and yet 1 in 9 people are chronically undernourished in the world- around 795 million people according to the United Nations.  The majority of undernourished are in developing countries, but there are local communities right in the Bay Area which suffer from homelessness and hunger. Yesterday we had the incredible opportunity to do a very small part to feed some local community members as part of our new Cookin’ for a Cause program. Read more

Wishing our Veterans Peace, Love and Heartfelt Gratitude

In years past I have always spoken of our veterans with great respect and honor, but it isn’t until this year that I really appreciated the human experience of our veterans and their loved ones.  This appreciation goes beyond our political views, our religious views, our differences; it is about understanding the humanness of what a veteran may have gone through in the hopes of protecting some of the greatest freedoms we have in this country. Read more

OrindaCares: Express Kindness in November

November 13th is WORLD KINDNESS DAY and as part of OrindaCares, we have some exciting initiatives planned to celebrate this GLOBAL CELEBRATION during the month of November.  Our November initiative is focused on two major aspects:  Expressing Kindness Creatively and Expressing Kindness for Those in Need.   

With the leadership of some incredible community members to spearhead these efforts, OrindaCares is launching several kindness projects.

What are we doing as a community? Read more

A Grateful Twist to a Pumpkin Craft

Today I had the opportunity to help with my 1st grader’s Halloween party at school.  We did a few simple yoga and movement games, but most of our time was spent focused on some Halloween crafts.   One of the fan favorites was a a simple Grateful Paper Pumpkin Craft which I modeled after this version here.

I shared my model with the kids- reading the things that I was grateful for on this Halloween, which included things like being able to walk or being able to see. 

For the activity, we generally followed the directions in the tutorial above, but did eight strips of paper instead of twelve.  Prior to cutting our eight strips of pumpkin paper, we had the kiddos write down eight things they are grateful for on Halloween.  This took a little brainstorming, but several kids wrote that they are grateful for their families, for trick or treating, for food, their hands and much more. As always, reading the messages that the littles wrote down is the best part of any kindness craft.

After the kids cut the strips, the parent volunteers helped the first graders fasten the brass brads to pull the heartfelt crafts together.  This was a super simple and easy craft to do and a great kindness project idea for the fall holiday season to do with your classroom or at home.   


3 Itty-Bitty Acts of Kindness

My younger daughter turned three earlier this month, and in keeping with our new birthday tradition I wanted us to do three acts of kindness in honor of her third birthday.  We kept the acts of kindness pretty simple and sweet for my itty-bitty.  Here’s what we did:

  1. Kind “Chalk-Way”:  Inspired by an idea that a friend had for our next OrindaCares initiative, the girls and I wrote and drew kind messages with chalk on our front walkway. Our hope was that when visitors came by our notes would put a smile on their face or brighten up their day.  It’s also been pretty hot here so we left a bucket of bottled waters on our porch with a note for any local delivery person stopping by. 
  2. Kind Wish Bubbles:  My 3-year old loves bubbles so we turned her bubble blowing activity into a kindness game.  We picked a few of her favorite people- friends and family members. Then for each bubble we sent a kind wish to one of those people.
  3. Make-Our-Own Thank You Cards: One of the birthday presents my 3-year old received for her birthday was a Make-Your-Own Card craft set.  I usually have my older daughter write her own thank you cards, and was planning to have my younger daughter scribble her name on pre-made thank you cards.  But this gift inspired us to create our own thank you cards.  The neat part of doing our own cards especially from an easy-to-use craft set was that we talked about each of her friends and what colors and shapes each of her friends would like.  I also let my daughter stamp the cards even if they ended up a bit crooked!

These kindness twists to everyday activities were extremely easy to do.  So our birthday tradition continues. Next up is my husband!  That will be a much longer list! 😉

On a side note…the day before my 3-year olds’ birthday, we were on a Southwest Airlines flight. I asked a stewardess if they could announce that it was her birthday to make her feel a little special.  They not only wished her a Happy Birthday on the flight, but they surprised us with a pretzel crown for my daughter.  It was an act of kindness we definitely won’t forget! 🙂




As a Community…We Rallied, We Assembled, We Helped.

The silver lining to a disaster is the power of community coming together to create positive change.  After kickstarting our OrindaCares: Helping Hands for Houston project just 5 weeks ago, we saw the force of good that can come out of a community-wide effort to help those in need.  Here’s just a small synopsis of our community efforts.  Read more