You never know when the opportunity to help build healthier communities is going to pop up. Sometimes these unexpected opportunities can have far reaching impacts.
Here at Northern Health’s Centre for Healthy Living office in Prince George, we recently experienced one of those unexpected moments. Our next door neighbour is the Aboriginal Choice School. One of the teachers approached us and asked if her class could pick the apples from the trees on our property so the class could make apple sauce. We gladly agreed - after all, Bear Aware keeps telling us to pick our fruit to prevent bears from being attracted to the ripe fruit trees. We certainly didn’t want any of us – or any of the kids – to be greeted by a bear one morning!
The kids came and had a fun time being outside and collecting the plentiful apples.
And then, we received the most lovely thank you card from the class with pictures of the children happily engaged in making and sampling their apple creations. You can’t help but smile back at all the lovely toothy grins.
Simple acts like this help create healthier communities in ways you may not even think! We contributed to a bear safe neighbourhood; we made good use of the fruit on our property; the children got exercise and time in the fresh air as they did the picking; the class was part of a as “close to the ground” eating experience as you can get; and they also learned about nutrition and cooking for themselves.
Last but not least, they had a positive and caring experience with an arm of Northern Health. Not bad for a simple “yes, you can pick our apples and save us the labour and save us from bears.”
What unexpected moments have you experienced that contributed to a healthier community for all of us?
About Theresa Healy
Theresa is the regional manager for healthy community development with Northern Health’s population health team and is passionate about the capacity of individuals, families and communities across northern B.C. to be partners in health and wellness. As part of her own health and wellness plan, she has taken up running and, more recently, weight lifting. She is also a “new-bee” bee-keeper and a devoted new grandmother. Theresa is an avid historian, writer and researcher who also holds an adjunct appointment at UNBC that allows her to pursue her other passionate love - teaching.