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Most of us are feeling the fallout of COVID-19 to some degree – or, we ourselves are directly impacted in a big way. Regardless of your relationship to this crisis, you can likely sense just how big of a challenge this is posing to our communities. With services shutting down across the country and globe, many people are struggling to make ends meet during these uncertain times. If you are in this position yourself, I assure you that you’re not alone – and that together, we’ll make it through this.

There is no shortage of individuals, businesses, and non-profits in need of support at this time. In San Francisco, Mindful Life Project is just one of the many in need of assistance. This project, well-established in the Bay Area, was founded in 2012 by founder and director JG Larochette to empower underserved children through mindfulness teachings and other transformative skills.

Now, due to COVID-19, they and the communities they serve are unable to carry on with the impactful relationship they’ve developed. As a result, the non-profit is in need of support.

Mindful Life Project: A Non-Profit in Need of Our Support

What is Mindful Life Project?

Through science-based and culturally relevant school-centered intervention programs, Mindful Life Project guides students of primarily low-income backgrounds to better understand their feelings, emotions, thoughts, and life experiences. Youth develop the self-awareness, confidence, self-regulation, and resilience skills that lead to lifelong success.

Through their work over the past seven years, findings show that their program has:

  • Reduced suspension by 53% (yearly average)
  • Increased quality teaching time by 21 minutes per day

In addition, teachers have reported that due to Mindful Life Project they’ve observed:

  • Improvement in students’ self-awareness – 86%
  • Improvement in students’ self-regulation – 81%
  • Improvement in students’ ability to relate to one another – 77%
  • Improvement in their students’ ability to pay attention – 82%
  • Improvement in their students’ ability to settle down – 73%

*Percentage denotes the percent of teachers who noticed these improvements

The program came into being after founder JG noticed while working as a teacher that low-income communities were in great need of prevention and intervention programs to support the social emotional and mental wellbeing needs of its children and youth. Since the schools in these areas are often underfunded, the project came to life to give these youth the resources needed to break recurring patterns of violence, defiance, and negative learning environments.

The two programs they run, in addition to their training for teachers and schools, are Rise-Up and Mindful Community. Rise-Up serves 250+ students in small groups of eight students each week to help encourage a cohesive and non-judgmental community amongst peers. The Mindful Community program offers each classroom one 25-minute mindfulness lesson per week. This program serves 12,000+ students each week.

The Impact of COVID-19

Due to the shutdown across the region, the team behind this grassroots non-profit are already feeling the financial fallout. As a community based project, they’ve had to cancel or postpone $50,000 in scheduled earnings for upcoming trainings. Funding for the project is tight, so the impact this is having on their non-profit is beyond substantial.

Reliant upon funding, they’re asking for donations to help them get through this difficult time. Donations help to fund the following initiatives:

  • $20,000 – Supporting all Mindful Community K-3rd grade students in learning the seven mindful skills for an entire school year
  • $15,000 – Supporting all Mindful Community 4th and 5th grade students to develop self-awareness, confidence, self-regulation, and resilience for an entire school year
  • $10,000 – Supporting 40 Rise-Up students to release trauma through mindfulness, yoga, or expressive arts for half the school year
  • $5,000 – Supporting 16 Rise-Up students to release trauma through yoga and expressive arts for the entire year
  • $2,500 – Supporting 20 teachers to learn mindfulness through mindful educator trainings to supplement their instruction
  • $1,000 – Providing one classroom with Mindful Community for the entire school year
  • $500 – Providing an ‘at-risk’ student one full year of Rise-Up Programming

In addition to losing upcoming revenue, they’ve also had to cancel their yearly fundraiser that generates about $20,000. So, they’re turning with greater attention to the online community to gain support during this time.

Ways to Support Mindful Life Project

What Mindful Life Project is calling for right now are donations. If you can support them in this way, they accept checks sent to Mindful Life Project, 124 Washington Avenue, Suite B, Richmond, CA 94801 – or, you can donate online at MindfulLifeProject.Org.

Anything you can support them with during this difficult time will help to ensure that the children and youth of the Bay Area continue to get the support and mindfulness resources they need.

To gain more insight into the work they do, checkout their organizational video on Youtube.

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