Plan B Connections Strategies
Hope you find these ideas useful in strengthening your social ties.
Plan B Connections for Positive Change Meetup Group, June 2017 to present
Our Meetup group connects individuals - especially those living alone - in meaningful ways for social wellness and healthy aging. We volunteer each month for a non-profit such as Empty Bowls, which raises funds to feel the hungry. We occasionally meet for walks or a casual breakfast.
"Social Changemakers Webinar," July 2016
I presented a 6-minute "TED type" talk at my workplace on my Plan B Connections efforts in support of my employer's mission of making positive social change. One very nice attendee sent me this email afterwards: "I just wanted to say your speech was excellent today - a great topic!"
Twin Cities Icebreakers Meetup, June 2016 - April 2017
I wanted to launch a "Norm!" from Cheers Meetup where everyone knows your name through seeing the same friendly folks on a regular basis. We hit our group capacity of 50 members within 2 days! My "Friendship Over 40" dinners were especially popular with up to 26 attendees.
Holiday Collection of Gifts and Making Dinner for Homeless Teens, December 2015
In lieu of a White Elephant gift exchange at work, we collected winter clothing and 20 gift cards for homeless teens this holiday season. It was a great way to help others and share the holiday spirit with work colleagues.
Six kind members of a meetup group organized to make a dinner for homeless teens at Safe House Shelter in St. Paul.
"Using Tech to Connect!" Archived Webinar Recording
I delivered a live webinar for AARP's TEK webinar series on how to use technology to forge meaningful social connections on Wednesday, October 21, at 7:00 pm Eastern. There were 73 live attendees and 25 watched the recording right afterwards. To watch the recording, please click on this link - all are welcome to watch it.
Eastside Meals on Wheels, 2014 to 2016
I served as a volunteer writer for the Eastside Meals on Wheels newsletter. This organization is dedicated to providing warm meals to socially isolated homebound seniors in NE Minneapolis and St Anthony Village.
Connection through Conversation Meetup, October 2013 to March 2015
I hosted a meetup group for small group conversation - we had turnouts of 3 to 10 people. We talked about TED talks, how we spent Minnesota winters, New Year's resolutions, passions and hobbies, books, movies, etc. The group grew to 80 members. Our gatherings offered everyone a chance to talk and be heard so we had a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level than most Meetup groups. Several friendships were going strong post-meetup - I'd call that a success!
Lutheran Social Services - Making Dinner for Homeless Teens in St. Paul, March 2013 to February 2017
I organized groups to make bi-annual dinners around Easter and Thanksgiving for homeless teens at Lutheran Social Services' Safe House Shelter in St. Paul.
Parks, Recreation and Environment Commission, March 2014 to March 2015
Served on local PREC to see what opportunities there are for connecting mid-life individuals living alone in my area. Launched our city's Facebook page which has grown to 200 members.
Lutheran Social Services - Making Dinner for Homeless Teens in St. Paul
Continued this annual tradition of making 2 meals per year.
Connections through Conversation Meetup Group
Continued hosting small group conversations for this meetup group.
"Gals Night Out" Monthly Dinner Group - Ongoing
In early 2013, I organized a monthly dinner group through our neighborhood's NextDoor.com community. It's a great way for neighbors to get to know each other and welcome new residents.
"Living Alone, Living Connected"
Monday, November 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
We had a great group of 25 attendees interested in making new connections - it was a wonderful evening!
Windsor Green Resilience Circle
Between Thanksgiving and Xmas, we did our 4th dinner for homeless teens at a shelter (run by Lutheran Social Services) in St. Paul, we collected coats and winter clothing for the Harbor Light Center, a homeless shelter for adults in Minneapolis, and we ran a food drive for the Ralph Reeder Foodshelf in New Brighton.
Connections through Conversation Meetup Group, October 2013 through March 2015
Launched and hosted a meetup group for small group conversation to connect individuals in new ways and offer all attendees a chance to chat.
Presentation on building community through forging meaningful social connections to an audience of more than 100 people
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Please view my talk on my homepage and visit www.tedxmahtomedi.com
Note: this is a community based forum offered under an independent license from TED.com
"Let's Talk Living Alone in the Twin Cities"- February 17 & March 17, 2013
"Making and Maintaining Meaningful Social Connections" workshop
March 19, 2013, 7 to 9 pm
Making Dinners for Homeless Teens in St. Paul
Resilience Circle of Neighbors and
March 10 and 31, 2013
I recruited and organized two different groups - our circle of 5 neighbors and a group of 11 transplants to provide two dinners for a shelter serving homeless teens run by Lutheran Social Services - their generosity was very inspiring!
Evolve Leadership Development Program
In May 2012, I completed this program to support my work with Plan B Connections. It is a program for those 50+ to use their talents and passions to spearhead a project for positive social change. This program is a fantastic way to forge meaningful social ties. To learn more, please visit this link.
Roseville Community Education
Fairview Community Center
NEW CLASS - "Mastering the Art of Living Alone"
2 sessions - February 8 and February 15, 2012
Basilica of St. Mary Employment Ministry
"Forging Meaningful Social Connections in the Twin Cities"
March 6, 2012
7 to 9 pm
(19 folks attended - a terrific group! Thanks for coming!)
"Tale of 10 Cities" TV Show Interview about Plan B Connections
July 11, 2012
Vital Aging Network Meetings at Roseville Public Library
"Salons on Social Connectedness"
Thursday, July 19, 2012
September 19, 2012
At the first salon, individuals shared meaningful stories of their diverse initiatives to alleviate social isolation in their communities - very inspiring.
At the second salon, we had more than 30 people so we formed small groups to discuss our individual interests in social isolation and strategies for making meaningful social connections.
A quote from a participant:
"Thank you very much for organizing a very good forum. I am guessing that one of its benefits, among many, is that when we heard from so many friendly, socially appealing people that they were not satisfied with the degree to which they felt socially connected, the "Is it me?" worry probably diminished for a lot of people, freeing up their energy to just get out of the chair and go for it!"
Basilica of St. Mary Employment Ministry
Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis
June 22, 2011
7 to 9 pm
(19 folks attended - it was a wonderful discussion! Thanks for coming!)
Roseville Public Library at Hamline Ave and County Road B
June 23, 2011
7 to 9 pm
(18 folks attended - another wonderful group! Thanks for coming!)
Northern Hennepin Community College
Job Search Club
July 20, 2011
5 to 6:15 pm
(10 folks attended - we had a great discussion! Thanks for coming!)