Our Story

The first Mindful Littles service learning project took place on October 2, 2016, as a grassroots initiative in our founder’s backyard. Fifteen neighborhood families in Orinda, California, gathered to mindfully engage in service — making heart-felt hygiene kits for foster care youth in need. The first project had a deep impact on the group, and it was clear our compassion in action had planted the seeds for a movement.

Since then, Mindful Littles has become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering compassion experiences for children, families, and schools. As our work and partnerships continue to expand, we remain steadfast in our intention of practicing mindful service, and are deeply committed to empowering a new generation of courageous compassionate leaders.

A Note from Our Founder

“My children are my greatest teachers and my greatest source of inspiration. They are the reason I first journeyed into mindfulness and the reason I am inspired to integrate mindfulness and compassion into our daily lives. I want my children to view mindfulness and kindness as a natural and organic part of their everyday lives. I want them to thrive in a community where kids are more conscious and aware of themselves and others, where they are kind, and where they can safely, freely and confidently express their authentic selves. I hope we can create a world where all beings are inspired to live in their hearts, to be in tune with their own inner light so they share this light with others.”

—Tanuka Gordon, Founder

Read more thoughts and inspiration from Tanuka.

We started little, but our plans are big.

2016 Planting the seeds of compassion 
The first mindful service learning project began in Tanuka Gordon’s backyard in Northern California. Simultaneously she launched the Mindful Littles blog to share the everyday mindfulness and compassion activities she practiced at home with her two daughters. Thus began the journey of Mindful Littles.
  2017 Cultivating community roots
As a team of 5 passionate parent volunteers creating monthly mindful service learning projects in the East Bay Area, Mindful Littles began building a local community presence. In May we became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and by the fall had entered into local schools with the formation of OrindaCARES, our first district-wide platform for mindful service learning.
2018 Strengthening community partnerships 
Community partnerships continued to flourish as we brought mindful service learning to libraries, youth groups, churches, and synagogues, as well as to adults with disabilities. 2018 saw many firsts including the creation of our flagship MYSELFTM curriculum, our first national conference, our first paid contractor and our First Annual Peace & Kindness Carnival. 
  2019 Branching out to new regions
In 2019 we expanded into new communities. Moved deeply by our Peace Kits for Paradise service learning project, the Paradise Unified School District hired Mindful Littles to bring our yearlong MYSELFTM  classroom program to the entire district, helping children in Butte County cope with the aftermath of a devastating wildfire. To support our growth, we hired our first full-time employees.  
2020 Rising to National Presence 
As the world copes with COVID-19 and racial justice movements, the need for Mindful Littles is stronger than ever, and we began proving that we are achieving high impact results. We expanded our digital presence—from our online educator portal to enhanced digital offerings to new innovations to bring our compassion experiences to a national audience.
And our growth continues. By 2025 we plan to become the world’s largest mindful service learning provider.

Learn more about our vision, mission, and values.