By Scout Anatricia
Imagine yourself on a beach, surrounded by friends, strangers, compassionate people and the sweet sound of a local band ringing through the evening air. If this sounds ideal to you then stop by Shangri La at The Beach hosted by Lindy Lewis, a fundraiser for Underground Kindness.
Recent high school graduates Owen and McCoy will be performing and representing Sandpoint High School. As a classmate, I’ve been watching them play at the lunch tables since eighth grade. They’ve come a long way in a short time, landing an opening gig for Wilco at the Festival at Sandpoint this summer. If you’re interested sneak peek of next month, you’re definitely going to want to stop by and check them out!
Better yet, you’ll be supporting a good cause. Underground Kindness (Underground Kindness) is a nonprofit organization started by Lewis and supported by community members around Sandpoint. The short and sweet of Underground Kindness is that it serves as an empowerment program for students. Lewis describes her program as a way to, “present perspective and permission for self-acceptance and acceptance of circumstances”.
Underground Kindness does this by presenting students with “compassionists,” people who hold “a place of grace and compassion for self and others,” in the words of Lewis’ book, “Recovering Alpha Female.” In grades seven through 12, these compassionists discuss topics such as self-esteem, nutrition, yoga, and manifestation of thought with students. Lewis said she was surprised by not only the positive feedback from students but also from appreciative teachers and community members.
Due to the success of Underground Kindness, the Shangri La at The Beach concert is serving not only as a fundraiser but also as a celebration for 312 classes accomplished, plus success in the juvenile center.
Many students from Sandpoint High School have expressed deep appreciation for the talks and yoga practices that Lewis and her compassionists give. One student recently released from the juvenile center said that doing yoga with Lewis was his release from the loneliness and self-disgust that he felt on a daily basis. He appreciated that Lewis held space for him and made him feel important and worthy of someone’s attention.
In some cases, Underground Kindness provides a sense of self-worth that students simply don’t get anywhere else. Many live in homes where families don’t hold space for them or make them feel significant, so it is important to have a program so full of grace and compassion that gives kids a moment where they can feel safe and welcome.
“I learned that you really do have the ability to think for yourself. You are the only one who can change your mind to live a better life,” reads one student testimonial from the Underground Kindness website, www.inspiringgrace.org
If you feel that supporting and continuing the practice of Underground Kindness in our middle school, high school, alternative high school and juvenile center are important, then be sure to stop by Shangri La at The Beach on Thursday, July 23 from 6:30 p.m until sunset.
Bring a blanket, a picnic, and a $25 donation to help continue classes! Plan to enjoy a lovely evening while supporting Underground Kindness.
For more information contact Lindy at [email protected]
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