Happy (belated) Father’s Day!
It seemed fitting to write about my father seeing this week’s blog fell close to father’s day. So this one is for you pops!
Meet Brian Dwyer
My dad is someone I have looked up to my entire life. Being similar in a lot of ways, made getting along quite easy. To paint a picture of my dad, he is a funny, smiley Irishman who makes new friends everywhere he goes. Seriously, spend 10 minutes with him in a grocery store- he will leave with 5 new friends at least. With a contagious smile and a personality that lights up a room, I am proud to call Brian my dad. Brian’s level of compassion is what makes him admirable. His selflessness and his ability to empathize with those around him, make him kind and a joy to be around. I aspire to be like my dad.
Because, why the heck not?
This year Brian and my mum, Kary, decided that they would like to retire out east in Nova Scotia. With endless new opportunities for them out east, I understand their desire to move. I was happy to hear that they fell in love with Nova Scotia, just as I did. It dawned on me though, that once my parents move to NS, I would no longer have a home in Ontario. This was hard for me. I have lived in Ontario my entire life and I couldn’t imagine saying goodbye to all my friends here. I go to school out east and I find it hard enough already saying goodbye to friends at the start of each semester. It all became real when our house went on the market. Although I am happy and excited for my parents, I feel the stress of not knowing where I will end up if Ontario is no longer home.
Taking a step back, I am able to see that my dad probably had that same worry when he first came to Canada. My dad left his whole world behind to move here. He put everything on the line to start fresh somewhere new. He didn’t know what it would bring or where he would settle- but he did it anyways. My dad’s resiliency and drive for change teaches me that life is unpredictable, and it is important to be adaptable and seek out opportunity. I also understand this is his dream and he is finally doing something for himself.
Considering a pet donkey? Now that’s not something you hear everyday!
Brian and Kary are hoping to find a place in NS with some extra space for some new animal friends- potentially a donkey. Today we spent father’s day learning about donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada (DSC).
The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada
The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada is a refuge for donkeys that have been abused, neglected, or can no longer be cared for by their owners. I was happy to hear the DSC’s mission to ensure that the animals that come to live at the sanctuary are surrounded by love, dignity, and the respect they richly deserve. Spending the day at the sanctuary enabled me to see first hand that their friendly and knowledgeable staff is achieving DSC’s mission.
At the DSC you are able to make donations, adopt donkeys, and explore their learning centers- not to mention you get to hangout with the cute donkeys! I was glad to see that my dad was enjoying his father’s day. If you have not been to the DSC I would highly recommend going. Visitors ranged in all ages and pets are allowed. The DSC is a great place to spend the day with the family. The DSC offers informational lectures as well if you are interested in learning more in depth about donkeys! The DSC is always looking for volunteers! If you are comfortable working with animals I would recommend volunteering here- the location is beautiful and the work you would be doing is making a positive impact and spreading awareness. Sounds pretty awesome to me! For those of you interested in getting involved, here is the link to the DSC’s website! http://thedonkeysanctuary.ca/help-us/volunteer
I am going to end today’s blog with a big appreciation for all the dads out there. Thank you dad for being my role model and for always keeping my best interest at heart. I am excited for what the future holds for you. I would also like to thank all the workers and volunteers at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada who do kind work for a great cause- your efforts do not go unnoticed.
Stay kind my friends.
Hello kind krafters! I hope you’re all doing well, and for those of you close to me here in Halifax, enjoying the (finally) warm and sunny weather! In my last post I shared my experience solo camping in the Highlands. However, I failed to mention anything about what I was doing the day before heading off on this adventure.
On Saturday May 20th, before driving to Cape Breton for three days, I ran the 5km in the Bluenose Marathon as part of the Green Avengers Team for the Ecology Action Centre. This was my second year as a Green Avenger, and running with the EAC continues to be one of my most rewarding volunteer experiences.
The Ecology Action Centre is an environmental non-for-profit organization in Halifax that has been working to build a healthier, more sustainable world both locally and in Nova Scotia, Canada on a regional and national level. The EAC is an inspiring organization whose ability to effectively promote, educate and enact change in my hometown has been a constant source of inspiration. As a result, as I’ve become more environmentally conscious, and shifted my studies towards Sustainability, my volunteer work has similarly gravitated towards working with the EAC.
I first became involved with the EAC after walking by one of their tables at a local MEC race at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. The table was educating runners about the role of the EAC and recruiting individuals who would be interested in running as part of the EAC’s team in the annual springtime Bluenose Marathon. I’ve always loved a challenge, and had an interest in running but still needed a push to actually begin a training plan and sign up for a race. The Green Avengers team offered exactly that.
As a member of the Green Avengers, I committed to obtaining 16 pledges to support my race. The pledges were donations of any amount in support of my race, with 100% of the funds raised going to the amazing work at the EAC. When I started last year I gave myself a modest $300 goal, focusing on getting 16 pledges and training for the first time as best as I could through a cold winter and wisdom teeth surgery. To my surprise, I hit 16 pledges and $300 just before the race, which I then ran in 34 minutes.
Post Bluenose 2016, my first ever race and running experience.
My first experience running lead to a summer filled with 10 other races, ranging for 5kms to 10kms, all the way up to a half-marathon, days after my 21st birthday. I then took a few months off, and running was far from my mind as school, work and volunteer commitments took up most of my time.
In January the Green Avengers came on my radar once again, this time I would run the race and work with the team as a Captain, supporting my own small group of Green Avengers towards their fundraising goals and race day. This experience was new and challenging. My own busy schedule, coupled with that of my teammates, meant we didn’t get to communicate as much as I would have liked. As a new experience it also required me to find a new role as a leader, something I was unaccustomed to in a volunteer capacity. Despite the challenges, being a Team Captain was a great experience, felt most profoundly when on race day I got to congratulate and cheer on the Green Avengers I had watched fundraise and emailed support to over the past four months.
As for my own race and fundraising, this year was definitely different from last. To start, I wanted to run this race fast, but a crazy school, work, and volunteer schedule left me little time to train, especially once internship mapping began. Initially disappointed, I decided to instead shift my energy towards training when I had a few spare minutes, and fundraising as much as I could for a cause I was passionate about. Working hard to get donations through every connection I could think of, I surprised myself immensely in tripling my raised funds from last year’s amount, finishing on race day with over $900 in donations. To top it off, I showed up on race day telling myself I would be proud just to finish no matter the time given my lack of ability to adequately train. I ended up running two minutes faster than last year, finishing with a time of just over 32 minutes. Who would have thought! Really kind krafters you can do amazing things when you’re passionate.
My face of exhaustion after finishing the 2017 Bluenose Marathon