A new virtual event from North Rocky View Community Links aims to bring people together during a tumultuous time.
The event is called CoHeart Connection. According to Laurie Jacob-Toews, community engagement manager with Community Links, registered groups will receive a swag bag and a bingo activity card. Cohorts will have a chance to win prizes by completing the tasks and activities on their bingo card. Activities range from visiting a local coffee shop to getting out of the house for some fresh air.
“We are secretly hoping people will have a little fun,” she said. “At the end of the day, it is a tough time. We are hoping people will discover new connections, or reconnect with an old friend through these activities.”
Interested participants will have until Oct. 30 to register for the free event, which Jacob-Toews said will run until Nov. 30.
CoHeart Connection will not only be available in Airdrie, Jacob-Toews said, but separate versions will be available for residents of Crossfield, Irricana and Beiseker.
“For us, a focus is to support local business as well,” she said. “We are trying to keep it very open. We really want this to be inclusive.”
In recent years, Community Links would organize an initiative each August called Linking the Community, held at Nose Creek Regional Park.
“We weren’t able to host that event this year, but we still wanted to do something with the community,” Jacob-Toews said. “That is where we came up with this event.”
According to Jacob-Toews, the purpose of Linking the Community was to bring people together, create an activity to do with family members and have fun.
“That is why we have tried to incorporate those things into this event,” she said.
An important reason for hosting an initiative like CoHeart Connection during a difficult year like 2020 is because of the impacts of social isolation, Jacob-Toews added.
“If people aren’t able to get out and participate in sporting activities or go out as often as they would, there is definitely a risk of them feeling isolated from their community,” she said. “We really just want to encourage people to think creatively about how they can engage with their community in light of what is happening in the world right now.”
For Jacob-Toews, one of the most exciting aspects of the initiative is the opportunity to spread awareness about local supports and resources.
“If you are at home and you are struggling, maybe feeling depressed or frustrated because you don’t have a job and your resumé needs to be updated, or you need to access food but you're not sure how, we really want people to know there are community resources available to support you,” she said. “A lot of people are in a situation right now they never thought they would be in. A lot of people don’t even know where to start.”
Those interested in registering for Community Links' virtual event can visit eventbrite.ca and search "CoHeart Connections."