Guestwords | The Happiness Project


Emily McCavanagh embodies positivity.  It is as though cheerful exuberance is woven into the very fiber of her being.  As a member of our community she has, time and time again, come forward to help lift us up.  And so it should come as no surprise that she is actively working to remind us, in this time when we all feel a little off balance, that happiness is not lost.  It is right here.  And has been all along.  

How do you find happiness?  What does it mean?  These are questions Janda Ricci-Munn, the MERSD middle school health teacher, asked his students during a class discussion about happiness.  Emily, who has two middle-schoolers, overheard this and began to think hard about the kids in our community.  She explains that while our kids are all struggling in some way or another, she wants to remind them that there are still ways to find happiness.   

With the goal of making our kids feel loved and supported, Emily launched the Happiness Project on December 1.  Through community donations, Emily has been able to offer everything from candles to morning bagels, lunchtime pizza to beautifully decorated gingerbread people.  Kids are encouraged to stop by and grab something for themselves, or take something to deliver to a friend they think may need a boost.  When there are items leftover, Emily shares them with the local police or firefighters.  In speaking with Emily about the project, she noted that she wants kids to know that it is okay to feel unhappy.  It is recognizing that we have the power to find it again that matters.  The project is ongoing so if you think you would like to participate in any way, Emily would love to include you. 

Also, in the spirit of coming together, a group of Manchester residents have crafted an idea that is simple, generous, and exactly what need.  Asked & Offered is a give and take list for the community to contribute to or benefit from in any way that makes sense.  There are some truly wonderful possibilities on this week’s list.  It would seem that while we are all finding our way through this bumpy time, we do still have each other—and that alone is something to be happy about.  

positive mental attitude, emily mccavanagh, happiness, emotions