For its Summer Community Service Project, the Rotary Club of Gilroy came together and provided materials for 1,276 “mindful jars.” These materials were provided to the school counseling departments at all three middle schools in the Gilroy Unified School District to be used by the students to create mindful jars during their Suicide Prevention Week activities.
Rosie Ramon, a school counselor at Solorsano Middle School, explained that these jars are a visual aid for helping the students relax when they experience stress, anxiety, or are overwhelmed for any reason. Students are told that the jar represents their head, the water their mind and the glitter their thoughts or worries. While their thoughts (glitter) are calm and quiet at the bottom of the jar, their mind (water) is clear, and they are able to focus. Shaking the jar and creating a clouded, swirl of thoughts and emotions (glitter) is representative of their mind during times of stress and anxiety.
The simple act of paying attention to their breath and slowing it down while they watch the glitter slowdown in the jar is a powerful exercise, Ramon said.
“We are always looking for ways to make a positive impact in our community,” Gilroy Rotary President Nita Eddie-Mitchell said. “Given that mental health is an area of focus for Rotary International this year, this project aligned perfectly with that goal.”
In addition to the materials for the mindful jars, Rotarians raised enough money to provide each middle school with $755 to support the monthly Cookies with Counselors activity. In the past, the counselors have provided the cookies from their personal funds.