My name is Niki Foley, and I am one of the Kind Krafts Youth Ambassadors. I thought I’d take the time with this first post to introduce myself.
I am a fourth year student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Right now I am finishing up the last few classes towards completing a Double Major in Anthropology and Sustainability. I have lived my whole life in a small community outside of Halifax, called Hammonds Plains. I spend most of my year studying at Dalhousie, doing volunteer work through Halifax, and working at a retail store in the city. In the summers I continue working at the retail store between volunteer projects, and spend all of my free time outside. Living outside of the city, in a house surrounded by bigs trees, a wide backyard, and a little lake, has made me love nature. In my spare time I can always be found on an adventure outside.
Just another adventure! Swimming at the Laverty Falls waterfall in Fundy National Park, NB.
My passion for the outdoors, and desire to spend as much time as I can in nature, has lead me to develop a keen interest in environmental and sustainability issues. I believe the protection of the planet is a human responsibility as it is the planet that allows us to grow, thrive, love, laugh, and exist. In turn, I think we should respect and cherish all it has to offer.
As a result of these interests, when I’m not studying Sustainability at Dalhousie, I am working environmental non-profits in Halifax, such as the Ecology Action Centre. Right now I working on a number of projects that fuel my passion for sustainability and planet protection, while also allowing me to engage with the wider community.
As a volunteer I am currently helping to write a Guide for Energy Efficiency Upgrades Funding for Non-for-Profits in Nova Scotia, and researching the history of the Ecology Action Centre to re-write their wikipedia page. I’m also raising money for the Ecology Action Centre through a run at the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax in May! Funny enough, running the Ecology Action Centre lead to me run a half marathon for my twenty-first birthday!
21km for 21 years
Part of my love for nature and interest in working with organizations such as the Ecology Action Centre, is a desire to foster community engagement and development through engagement with the natural world. I think planet protecting action, when done at a community level, is incredibly powerful, and I have a passion for making that a possibility. Right now I’m working to extend that power into the hands of youth, in helping to develop a field trips program that brings middle school students to the Living Shoreline in Halifax to learn about sea level rise, climate change, and erosion, and how to work with nature to adapt naturally.
In addition, I have a keen interest in the positive power of time spent in the outdoors, in relation to individual and community wellbeing. I’ve constantly seeking new ways to grow this area of interest. This past year at Dalhousie I organized a Green Mental Health Week that connected students with free, on-campus sustainable resources for wellbeing; such as yoga, free vegan meals, hiking trips, and meditation sessions. The week may be my proudest accomplishment to date.
Currently I working to expand the week into the next academic year, hoping to organize fall and winter semester events. Through an internship with the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie I’m also working to make hiking trails in Halifax more publicly accessible by mapping trails and collecting descriptive data for the database of a Global App company in California. Follow me on Instagram and you’ll see me spending all of my summer weekends trekking around the municipality with a GPS and a notebook and pen!
Some fun facts about me…
Sully (the big one) and Molly at the beach
Moving forward you’ll find me working and playing outdoors and doing everything I can to follow my passions for connecting communities and peoples through the outdoors and using those connections to make a more sustainable and loving world. Alongside me blazing the trail for a better world is the wonderful people behind kind krafts, whose work to support community development, most recently in the form of youth engagement.
Until next time,
Hey friends! Welcome to the kind krafts blog! For those of you who don’t know me - my name is Annie Laura! People tend to call me Annie, which is totally cool too. I thought it would be best for us to get to know each other since I will be one of the folks posting on this blog! I decided to set up my introduction like a profile to give you a little snapshot of my life! I would love to connect with you and hear all about you as well!
While I do aspire to be a professional sushi eater, I am currently studying Therapeutic Recreation (TR) incase the sushi gig falls through. Hehe! Just kidding. I absolutely love my program. Are you unsure of what TR is? No problem! To be honest… I wasn’t sure what it was until I was studying it- interesting concept I know! Therapeutic Recreation to me is a health profession in which a recreation therapist helps facilitate leisure services to help benefit the health and well-being of the people they work with. I love this degree because when I graduate, I can work with any population and each day will be something new! I hope that I will go on to deliver wilderness therapy, a method of treatment where I can work with those suffering with traumatic injuries and/or traumatic life experiences to better their symptoms beyond the traditional practice. I think connecting with nature and getting outside is one of the best ways to heal!
When I am not in the library, you can find me at a local coffee shop, out exploring nature, volunteering or just hangin’ out! Out of all the lovely things that fill my day- volunteering is by far my favourite!
How I get involved?
I have always had a passion in volunteer work! I love spending my time focused on making a positive impact wherever I can. I have attended a couple of trips to the mountains of the Dominican Republic to build houses for families in need. These trips opened my eyes to the privilege I have, and the ways in which I can use that privilege for good.
After taking a few international development courses, I learnt about the great need to give back locally. My friend introduced me to kind krafts. Since being introduced, I ask kind krafts to attend a camp night event I was hosting on campus. kind krafts volunteers came to the event and taught attendees how to make kind karma bracelets. All the bracelets made and proceeds from purchased bracelets at the event were donated to the seasonal cause! kind krafts creates opportunities to get involved locally in a fun and interactive way! If you are interested in other ways to get involved reach out! I would love to share my volunteer experiences as well as hear about yours!
Why get involved?
I love volunteering because it is something beyond myself. By volunteering I am focusing my time and energy on others. It is amazing to see how far a little kindness goes. I try to make at least one person smile a day! Which leads me to my challenge for you!
Make a difference!
I challenge you to make someone smile today. If you are feeling up for a challenge, try and make a stranger smile! To show the impact of kindness I felt the need to share this video. This video was originally conducted as an independent project, and evolved into a social experiment. This video captures the smile of the people being videotaped. I find that when I watch it I can’t help but smile! Happy smiling everyone, let’s talk soon!
Let’s make a difference together!
Add me on social media so we can share our smile stories!!
Facebook: Annie Shannon-Dwyer
Blog: catch my next blog posted here!