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ABC News Anchor Dan Harris Shares Journey to Mindfulness for Completely KIDS Virtual Attendees
Event raises more than $117,500 for afterschool program, family services
OMAHA (April 20, 2021) – ABC News Anchor and #1 New York Times best-selling author Dan Harris shared with a virtual audience his personal story of a nationally televised panic attack that led to his discovery of mindfulness and meditation. Presented by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and hosted by Completely KIDS, in collaboration with the Creighton University School of Dentistry Program for Ignatian Mindfulness, the virtual Author Luncheon raised proceeds of more than $117,500 for the Completely KIDS afterschool program and family services.
“The mind is trainable,” Harris said during his presentation. “We think, subconsciously or consciously, that we are the way we are, that we have ‘x’ amount of patience or ‘x’ amount of focus or ‘x’ amount of calm or generosity and they’re like factory settings that can’t be rejiggered. Not true! What modern science, in particular neuroscience, is showing us is that the mind or the brain, and by extension the mind, are trainable. Happiness, and all the other states of mind we want like calm, focus, compassion, generosity, connectivity … these are skills that can be trained through meditation and other modalities.”
Modern research shows that meditation, a mindfulness practice, boosts resilience, focus, creativity, emotional intelligence, and overall physical and mental health. Harris’ book, 10% Happier, and his presentation align with current mindful practices Completely KIDS staff observe to encourage focus and reduce stress. Staff also teach mindfulness techniques to the children in its afterschool program, which has resulted in the children learning to self-regulate their emotions, manage their own behaviors, and help them cope positively with trauma.
As part of the event, Completely KIDS honored 2020 Persons Behind Completely KIDS awardees Eaton Corporation and Immigrant Legal Center, and 2021 recipient Laura Scott. The Persons Behind Completely KIDS award recognizes individuals or companies for exemplary service to the agency through volunteerism, in-kind donations, or special projects.
“The topic of mindfulness was trending even before the pandemic hit,” said Chief Executive Officer Penny Parker, “but with the additional stress and trauma of the coronavirus, especially for the families we serve, Dan’s presentation could not be timelier. Over the past several years, our staff, recognizing the positive impact mindfulness has on physical and mental health, have worked to incorporate mindfulness as part of our workplace culture and afterschool curriculum at Completely KIDS.”
The Author Luncheon was originally scheduled as an in-person event in 2020 but was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and reinvented virtually for the April 14 fundraiser.
For more information about Completely KIDS, visit completelykids.org.