Friday, November 25, 2016


The Mindful Life Project, a great name for a small start-up non-profit founded by JG Larochette, a 3rd -grade teacher in Richmond, CA.

Salute e Vita, a restaurant in Richmond, run by Menbere Akilu, an immigrant from Ethiopia.

What do these two have in common?

We spent last Friday night at an event for the Mindful Life Project, and had a delicious dinner beforehand at Salute e Vita.

But that is not what these two have in common.

The commitment to do good in the world and to give back runs through both JG Larochette and Menbere Akilu.

On Thanksgiving, Ms. Akilu opens her restaurant to serve a Thanksgiving meal for those in need. She also offers a special Mother's Day lunch to mothers-in-need as well. She works through out the year to help others. An Ethiopian, she came to the U.S. from Italy. Her first job was as a server at the restaurant she now owns. She is gracious and beautiful in spirit -- a prime example of what makes America great.

JG Larochette developed the Mindful Life Project after realizing that his community, Richmond, needed better resources to turn kids from patterns of defiance and negativity in the classroom. His program teaches mindfulness, yoga, expressive and performing arts. His program works.

Along with the Writer Coach Connection and Wardrobe for Opportunity, and many other small organizations in the East Bay, these projects, run by people who saw a need and filled it, need our support.

Some of us feel comfortable jumping in to teach hip-hop, or to work with young people on their writing skills, or helping to dress men-in-need to enter the work force. Some of us don't. That's okay, as long as we recognize the need is there and support efforts like these organizations in any way we can.

What is your best way to give back?
Do you have organizations that you support that have proven results?

Check out the websites for these organizations. Maybe these are places for your help.

Mindful Life Project:

Salute e Vita:

Writer Coach Connection:

Wardrobe for Opportunity:


Don't forgot to send me your stories about someone who has been an influence on your life to 

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