Fragrant Relief comes on the wings of the Barefoot Dragonfly

It is perhaps a truism that the true nature of people is revealed when misery comes. When a disaster strikes, you see those who step up to put deeds behind their altruistic words, and Amy Kreydin is definitely a woman of action.

Those of you who are not familiar with Amy, or her Austin, TX based aromatherapy and reflexology practice, the Barefoot Dragonfly, let me tell you that she has spent the past 14 years helping others – as a therapist and an educator. She has devoted herself to empowering others to regain the power over their health and well-being, and she has also been following the latest developments in the field of naturopathy at large. I could go on about Amy’s sharp mind and straight-shooting blogposts, but that is not what I want to talk about today.

Today, I want to talk about her incredible efforts to help in the wake of hurricane Harvey that struck Texas in the Summer of 2017.

As the winds and rains of a rare-sized hurricane battered the city of Houston and many more, Amy put out this call for help:

“Dear Friends,

In response to the catastrophic damage of Harvey I am reaching out for your assistance in supporting victims and first responders on the coast and in the greater Houston area. Clean up is estimated to take two years and this will have long-reaching impact on the entire country.

Initial efforts you can help me with now:

  • Join me here in Austin for weekly formulating sessions as we assemble aromatic trauma kits to distribute to shelters and first responders. No experience necessary! Just a willingness to help!
  • Volunteer to pick up the aromatic trauma kits and distribute them at the shelters housing victims of Harvey. Can you swing by the shelter after dropping the kids off at school?

If you are an aromatherapy company and wish to donate supplies such as essential oils, filled or blank aromasticks, base creams or oils please see the United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc Facebook group for details on what supplies we may need.

We will assemble aromatic trauma kits from formulating to printing labels. No previous experience necessary!”


And the response was massive! Amy said she was expecting a few dozen inhalers, maybe, but just in the first week, roughly 1500 inhalers were donated, together with about 270 roll-on bottles and something like 3 litres of essential oils (which is an incredible amount, as anyone in the field of aromatherapy will know). And on top of all that, the money donations have amounted to well over $2000!!! As a reaction to such a massive outpour, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger decided to revive the legal status of United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc., but that too is a story for another day.

Back to Amy. Since her first call for help, she and her volunteers have been working relentlessly to assemble aromatherapy kits and get them where they are needed. The kits include calming inhalers, hand sanitizers, air freshening sprays and healing balms. If you are in the Austin area, you may want to pop in for a formulating session. The Barefoot Dragonfly workshop has been taken over by supplies donations, as more and more of people want to help.

The aromatherapy relief has been distributed to various shelters, with the help of United Universalist church and Herbalists Without Borders. Amy shared some heart-warming stories from those who received their fragrant package already: “I had my second shift this week at the UU church. Their last bus of folks came in last night at midnight so most of my work today was centered around taking care of the volunteers. The bus driver tried one of the CALM aromasticks last night and reported to me this morning that it was the first night he’d slept straight through since the 28th. I gave him another one as backup and a big hug. One of the nurses who has been volunteering all week was struggling emotionally today (she’s done wellness checks for hundreds of refugees at this point) so I sat down with her during a slow spell and we sipped on herbal tea and she raved about the aromastick helping her keep her “head on right” this week. I got to meet briefly with the lead organizers of this project and they all have dark circles under their eyes – needless to say they all got some aroma patches for sleep and some restorative tea (lots of extra oat straw in that batch!).”

Amy is a true one-woman-army, and her incredible dedication, strength and compassion are truly awe-inspiring. I believe I speak for all of us at the UAE, Inc. if I say that it’s people like her, and stories of helping others like this, that make us wake up in the morning, wanting to make the world a better place.


For United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc.

Hana Bělíková

P.S.: Do you want to be a part of our efforts? You can contribute to the UAE, Inc. you can become an Angel Donor either through a one-off financial donation, or  by subscribing to monthly donations. Follow our website and FB group for news on material needs as we focus on Florida and other places next.

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