Our Goals for 2109

We recently had a meeting with the Happy Community Project Core Group to look at what we have accomplished in 2018 and make some goals for the coming year. We have accomplished a lot – and we have listened to what our neighbours are telling us they want for our community. What we have heard are two big things. We have heard:

  •          thank you – keep doing more of what the Happy Community Project does in building social connections across our community
  •         help us replace the culture of divisiveness with a culture of unity

So that’s what we are going to do.

Building Social Connectedness

We are going to continue to support the Farmers Market, Community Gardens, Community Farm, Ellershouse Breakfast, Movies in the Park, Welcome Newcomers, Greatest Picnic Ever, Corn Boil Challenge, Grab a Meal as well as launch My Community Kitchen Party and Adopt a Grandparent. In addition to these incredible projects, several citizens have come … Read the rest

My Hopes for a New Year

Optimistic Thoughts for a New Year

 I recently heard a radio show about what we could be optimistic about. Every day we are bombarded with news that shows that our future is uncertain. In the face of this unrelenting torrent, it is sometimes difficult to be optimistic. Yet, what is there without hope?

A Dream of Hope

I created the Happy Community Project™ because I am hopeful that we, the real and ordinary people of our world, do not have to passively accept a fate designed by others. That we can create a new destiny of self-reliance, wellbeing and resiliency.  It is founded on the simple idea that when we are socially connected across our diversity, we will take care of each other. Our rallying cry is, “There is no they should…., only we should….”

The Happy Community Project™ is barely one year old and it has proven that my hope is well founded. Most people want to make a Read the rest

A Matter of Trust

The Happy Community Project™ has been an incredible learning experience. Last week at a community meeting- we came face to face with a profound question – when did we become a society that places fear before trust? – and is this really the kind of society we want to be?

Twenty people were in a circle discussing how we’ could give more support to our caregivers. It was a recognition of how we have engineered our society to place incredible crazy demands on caregivers. Often these demands make it hard if not impossible for them to participate in normal community events. As one woman said “I am a finely tuned machine where every moment is accounted for. I can only stay 20 minutes and then I have to go get kids.” And then she got up and reluctantly left.

So the question was; how could we as a community help caregivers like her have more time? And was it even … Read the rest

Windsor West Hants shows what a happy community does.

It’s been a while since I have written and although we have had a long, hot, lazy summer, a lot has happened in Windsor West Hants.

What has been happening

The Avon Community Farmers Market is a great success with over twenty vendors providing a reason for hundreds of citizens to slow down and mingle with each other every Sunday between 10 and 2.
Laura Meldrum and her team have done a fantastic job of giving our community Films in the Park. The last one attracted 70 people to an old fashioned outdoor movie.
Makers has provided us with an awesome facility to come together, learn together and do together.

The community garden folks have are growing 2 acres of food for the food bank plus providing 8 plots of garden for folks in Windsor.

The Ellershouse Breakfast attracts up to 300 people on the last Saturday of every month to … Read the rest

You Can’t Keep a Good Idea Down

The thing about good ideas is you never know where they will show up next. They seem to have a life of their own.

When we were first exploring the ideas behind the Happy Community Project, we did some trial projects in Sackville Nova Scotia and in Needham in the North End of Halifax. We learned a lot in these projects and then took our learnings to Windsor NS. It has been a great success and has caught the attention of several universities, government agencies and research institutes.

In the meantime, we put both Sackville and Needham on hold. 7 months later, both Needham and Sackville have come back to life. Sackville is planning a major new launch on May the 7th led by Jason Craig. And Pauline Peters, Charles Bull and Brian Fraser have taken the ideas and reworked them into a potluck which brings the citizens of the Northern part of North end Halifax together for potluck dinners. … Read the rest

The Happy Community Dance

What Makes a Community?

A community is more than the sum of its parts – it is how all the parts interact with each other. And Communities have many parts.

Citizens, strangers, groups, NGOs, Business and Government all interact with each other in a intricate dance where everything affects everything. And just like a dance, when we all move to the same music, it’s a beautiful thing and when we all dance to different music at the same time flaying our arms and legs in different directions – well one part crashes into another.

So what binds us all to the same music?

A sense of belonging. When we all feel like we belong to the same community – when our citizens, social groups, NGOs, businesses and government share a common sense of belonging, then somehow, just like a dance, we all get in the groove and move to the same music.

This sense of belonging comes when we share … Read the rest

We used to remember

 

I have lots of conversations across the generations from my 97 year old neighbor to my 3 year old grandson and everyone in between. The older people remember a time when ‘everyone knew everyone’ and if the community decided they needed a school or a park, people would show up with wagon loads of lumber and food and hammers and build a school or a park on the land donated by one of the citizens. This is a totally foreign concept to those under thirty. If a community needs something now, we say “They should….” And we wait to see if they do or don’t.

There are good reasons for this in some cases, but not nearly as many cases as we think. If we make our dependence too high on “they”, the “We” becomes diminished. When “We” doesn’t have to do anything but pay taxes and complain, “We” also doesn’t have the need to interact with neighbors. In … Read the rest

Get Involved

The Happy Community Project in Hants West continues to make a big difference for our community. There are over 200 people all pitching in to make projects where people can come and do things together.

What is exciting is that every day, more and more people are hopping onboard or asking how can they get involved. Our community has come alive with energy. Most people want to make a difference for their community and many are looking to the Happy Community Project as a way to do that.

 

We started off with some really big projects like Community Market, Community Garden, MAKERS, Ellershouse Breakfast, Tour de Hants, Youth Hangout and Avon Regional Food Centre. Each of these projects is already real or coming into reality. So we at the Core Group have been asking ourselves some questions about ‘what’s next?’.

How can we include more people in participating in the Happy Community Projects? After all, we are at our … Read the rest

In Just three months, this community has done more than most do in years

50 People turned ‘we should’ into ‘we did’.

50 people rolled up their sleeves and got a lot of stuff done on January 10th. 100 more people are helping them. What are they doing and how are they doing it?

Here is a short list ( well actually, it’s an amazingly long list of ‘we shoulds’  turning into ‘we did’)

The Collaborative Project Leadership conference

On February 6th at the Windsor Library, 30 people will share ideas, make connections and connect to resources – space is limited to 30 so register early if you are a doer or leader for one of the projects or want to start a project.

Youth Hangout Project

8 youth showed up and did an awesome job of developing the basic ideas for a Youth Hangout Project. This project is led by the youth for the youth. On January 26th 7:00 to 8:30 at Windsor Community Center, youth will come together and Read the rest