Humans of Cranston

Posted 9/27/22

Humans of Cranston is a recurring column showcasing the stories of Cranston residents’ community involvement, diversity and unique life perspectives.

Nikki Nyne (she/her/hers) is a …

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Humans of Cranston


Humans of Cranston is a recurring column showcasing the stories of Cranston residents’ community involvement, diversity and unique life perspectives.

Nikki Nyne (she/her/hers) is a self-described “quirky and eccentric” mother of two who enjoys activities that improve her community and encourage greater connectivity throughout her neighborhood.

“I do a lot of the litter pick-up around here [Arlington Playground]. It started off when my son started going to Arlington, and at the end of the school day, everyone would come and bring their kids to the playground, and me and the moms would be sitting around and there was just trash stuffed in all these bushes. There was just everything everywhere. So, one day, I went to the Dollar Tree and I got one of the litter pick-up sticks and some trash bags, and I just started picking up. And it was really cool because sometimes I would buy five sticks, because what was happening was a lot of the little kids were coming up with their bare hands and they’d pick up trash and be like, ‘I found this’” And I was like, ‘thank you sweetie, but please, please don’t use your hands! …. If you see something, point it out to me and I can come and get it!’ and I had hand sanitizer and I’m like, squirting it on them. The young ones weren’t really the main issue with the litter; it was kind of like the middle schoolers throwing their water bottles and stuff, but it was also sometimes the parents! And what was happening is the parents were witnessing their children start to pick up the trash, and it was kind of hitting the parents, so it was really cool to be able to pass that onto the kids where like now, they know that I pick up the litter, so the majority of the kids are not littering, and that’s really important. And it’s just, I started doing it every so often, and the parents would thank me, and I remember being like, “Absolutely! This is our playground! It’s the community’s playground!”

Getting to know the people in your neighborhood and community is important. People joke about knocking on your neighbor’s door for a cup of sugar, then they’re like, ‘I don’t even know my neighbor! Sometimes I feel awkward.’ Like, you need to! You need to be able to have that closeness, because when they say it takes a village to raise a kid or it takes a village to do it, it really does. The village mentality thing, like, it helps to be connected. I was thinking about it earlier today about how I struggle with my own mental health issues, and a lot of that is anxiety and social anxiety. Going out and doing errands can sometimes be difficult -- to feel like you’re walking into a strange place -- but that’s important to get to know your community, not just your neighbors but also the people who work in your community, like at the grocery store! They’re not just a cashier, y’know; I’ve made friends with so many of the people who work at Aldi ‘cause I’m going there often and talking to them! Get to know them; they’re people, they’re humans, just like you, so I find that doing things like small acts of kindness and picking up the litter and everything helped me to be able to really connect with the people in the community and get to see them. That’s why I love Humans of Cranston. You’re really seeing them as a human for who they are, rather than just, ‘oh, that’s just the lady that rings up my stuff at Aldi’ or, ‘that’s just the neighbor that drives that car.’ Get to know them! Get to, ‘hi! How are you? What’s your name?’ It’s been important.

This project has been made possible by a Rhode Island Foundation Community Grant, and the efforts of the OneCranston Health Equity Zone of Comprehensive Community Action, Inc. in partnership with the Cranston Herald and Timothy McFate. Want to nominate a Cranston resident to be featured? Email JB at jfulbright@comcap.org.

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