Starting the Diversity Dialogue with our Littles

At this past weekend’s Mindful Littles diversity event, we gathered as  a community of families to talk about diversity and celebrate what makes each of our families special.   By amazing coincidence, our event happened to fall on World’s Cultural Diversity Day.  This day was started after the September 11th attacks, and the United Nations designated May 21st as Diversity Day in order to advocate for more dialogue on the topic of cultural diversity.

If I step back to think about the intention of our Mindful Littles diversity event, it is about dialogue- to help inspire conversations with our children about why diversity is so important.  And perhaps through our event, we can help spark curiosity in our littles to learn about each other’s differences, to start recognizing that the world is a massive place with billions of individuals – all unique and special, and to start asking questions- the ones that may not always be so easy or comfortable for us parents to answer.

In my own parenting journey, when my older daughter has asked the tough questions- about why her daddy and I have different colored skin, about why some friends have two mommies and no daddy, or why certain people are in wheelchairs- I haven’t always been sure of how to best answer these questions or what is even the right way to start.  But I think stumbling through the responses is natural, as long as we embrace our children’s questions openly, as long as we model in our daily lives what it means to respect differences and similarities, and as long as we teach our children that at the end of the day we are all human.

Our Diversity Quilt- by Ninon Shesgreen

And this ‘humanness’ that unites us all is something we can so easily forget.  The Mindful Littles diversity event was inspired by a #WeeklyKindnessProject that my daughter and I did after last year’s presidential election- when it seemed like our country was greatly divided, when groups of people were being ostracized for their religions, their race, their political beliefs.  My daughter and I made a card of the American flag, but instead of 50 stars, we made 50 hearts- each cut out in different sizes and shapes.  We called the card, “Different Hearts, United as One.”  Now during our Mindful Littles diversity event, we are converting this card into a quilt with the generosity and help of an incredibly talented friend, Ninon Shesgreen of Vagabond Ruth.  Each family that attends our diversity event can contribute their own unique heart patch, and each heart patch will be weaved into a beautiful quilt that represents our flag.

We hope that through our diversity event, our littles learn something new about the different people of our great planet.  We hope that we inspire families to have conversation starters and open dialogue about diversity.  And we hope that once the quilt is complete and featured in our local library and 4th of July parade, that our littles can see that while there are so many “different hearts” in our community, we can all be “united as one.”

If you are interested in joining the next Mindful Littles diversity event, you can register here: Celebrating Diversity: A Community Quilt Project.

 

 

Hope and Courage for more Dannys

So often many of us, myself included, go through each day taking for granted some of the most simple pleasures in life.  I almost never stop to think about the fact that I get to have toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, soap and so much more; and that truly we are so lucky to get to have these luxuries.  In fact, World Bank projects that as of 2015, based on the poverty line of $1.90 per day, “global poverty may have reached 700 million, or 9.6 percent of the global population.” This statistic alone sets things into perspective.  I spend double the global poverty line in a single Starbucks visit.   What’s even more jarring is to realize that there are kids that live right by us, in neighboring towns, who have been severely abused and neglected.  These kids are worried about their safety, whether they have a home or a family to rely on- let alone the simple pleasures of life that we so often take for granted.  Read more

A Big Valentine’s Thank You to our Local Firefighters

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. Read more

Mindful Little Spotlight: Caden Morrow

We have learned about some incredible stories about a few local children doing some amazing mindful work and giving back to the community.  Some of these kids have been inspired by our Mindful Littles community service events and have started campaigns to help the causes they learned about.  We want to start featuring these awesome littles and share their stories with our community.

Our first #MindfulLittleSpotlight is about a big-hearted 1st grader,  Caden Morrow.  Read more

84 hygiene kits made with love and a jump-start to end the night

We had our second “Helping Haiti Kids” event yesterday which was another heartfelt event with local families. We had a wonderful turnout despite the super stormy weather. Our event followed a similar agenda as our first one in December, which you can read about here. Because of both events, we completed 84 hygiene kits and now every child in the Center of Hope Haiti school will receive a personalized hygiene kit- each kit showcasing a polaroid picture and special wish from the family who made the kit. Read more

Mindful Littles Gives Back to Haiti Schoolkids

This last weekend we were very excited to host another Mindful Littles community service event. This time we partnered with a wonderful organization called Center of Hope- Haiti (COHH).  COHH has built an orphanage and school in the small town of Hinche in Haiti and has an incredible mission: “To foster livelihood and hope for the future of orphaned children of Haiti by providing shelter, education, nutrition, emotional security, healthcare and life skills to the children and their caregivers.”

The children who attend the COHH school have an ongoing need for hygiene supplies, so during our event we put together hygiene kits and created personalized cards for the schoolchildren.  We also taught the littles (and their bigs) at our event about the country of Haiti, about the children in Hinche, and about some mindfulness and compassion practices.

Read more