Mindful Little Spotlight: Ellie Shandalov

Our #MindfulLittleSpotlight story is about a special young lady named Ellie Shandalov.  Ellie is 13-years old and first came to Mindful Littles during our inaugural event last fall, when we partnered with a wonderful organization called Youth Homes.

During our first event, Ellie and her amazing mindful mama, Betsy, led our families through yoga postures and breathing exercises with a message for the littles to “have the courage to be kind.”  Ellie was so inspired by our first Mindful Littles event with Youth Homes that she decided to tour two group homes to learn more about how Youth Homes helps foster care children.  Ellie says,  “I saw the beauty that had been created in these homes and even the gardens that the kids can work in to be outside in nature.  I also got the privilege and honor to meet Stuart McCullough, the CEO of Youth Homes.  He was so giving of his time and was so inspirational.”

Ellie created a fundraiser for her Bat Mitzvah to raise money for Youth Homes and raised $1000 for the organization. During our second Mindful Littles event with Youth Homes, Ellie graciously volunteered her time again and this time brought three of her Girl Scout Cadettes.  Together the four girls led 20-25 families through yoga postures, which is no small feat.  They also helped our Mindful Littles team assemble the hygiene kits that each family personalized for Youth Homes’ clients.

In Ellie’s own words…”I would like to continue to go to more of the Youth Homes and Mindful Littles events. I would like to educate the kids who are so fortunate about the kids who are not.  No matter where we live or who we are, we all share so many of the same thoughts and ideas.  We all need compassion, courage and hope.  I would like to work with Mindful Littles to design a project for my silver service award for Girl Scouts.  I would like to continue to inspire kids mindfully and leave a  contribution to kids and our community.  I feel so lucky to have found Mindful Littles.”

And we are so lucky to have found someone like Ellie!  She is truly a special soul, just like her mom, and has already inspired so many littles with her incredible leadership and generous heart.  Thank you for all that you are doing for our community Ellie.  We can’t wait to have you at our future Mindful Littles events!