Social Connection Project
The Social Connection Project—a joint project of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG)—is a conversation campaign to increase social connection within our community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
What is the Social Connection Project?
The Social Connection Project—a joint project of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG)—is a conversation campaign to increase social connection within our community. The necessity of our current physical distancing mandate unfortunately worsens social isolation and loneliness, which are already at high levels in our society. This project addresses this by connecting community members in our MACG institutions and neighborhoods with community volunteers—via phone calls—to share stories, pressures, and concerns related to COVID-19 and beyond, to the benefit of both. The stories and needs that emerge in these conversations will guide MACG’s organizing efforts going forward.
Who is this project for?
The project is open to any community member who would like to connect with someone during this extraordinary time to build and deepen our community. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Essential workers, who face unique challenges
- Parents with children at home
- People not working and worried about paying bills
- People who live alone
- Students whose education has been interrupted or altered
- People who are houseless or at risk of becoming houseless
- Young adults concerned about work prospects
- People with health concerns
- People not currently eligible for any of the public benefits in the stimulus package
The project is being piloted right now at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Washington County. We are beginning to expand into our other Washington County institutions. We hope to be active in Clackamas and Multnomah counties soon. If you would like to know how to get your MACG institution involved, contact Mary.
Interested in volunteering to make calls?
We are looking for individuals with good listening skills, compassion, a genuine interest in others and in building relationships for the long-haul.
What will volunteers commit to?
- Attend a 90-minute virtual training before getting started
- Commit to making regular calls to their community partner(s)
- Record a brief reflection after each call
What happens next?
- We will contact you with details about our next volunteer training.
- Volunteer trainings are 90-minutes and happen over Zoom.
- After your training you will be assigned to a volunteer pod
- a group of 6-10 volunteers with a pod leader.
- You will be assigned a conversation partner as soon as one is available.
- You and your partner will determine the call schedule and frequency.
- After every call you will record a brief reflection.
- There will be weekly meetings for each volunteer pod to meet with their leader and reflect, problem-solve and connect within the volunteer pod.