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Creating Companionship ×
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Next City

Julia Hotz

27 April 2021

Astoria, New York, United States

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Neighborhoods throughout New York are banding together to create their own mutual aid networks to help their community members during the coronavirus pandemic. From grocery shopping to fundraising for resources such a...

Yes! Magazine

Lynn Freehill-Maye

25 February 2021

Kirkland, Washington, United States

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A community effort to help provide food to those who are food insecure during the pandemic has brought together local bakers to bake bread for food banks. The initiative, known as Community Loaves, has amassed 700 vol...

Next City

Emily Nonko

11 February 2021

New York, New York, United States

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To address the growing isolation facing senior citizens, a Brooklyn-based organization started an initiative called The Sharing Network to connect volunteers with seniors via telephone calls. Taking the participants' ...

Second Wave Michigan

Jane Simons

28 January 2021

Battle Creek, Michigan, United States

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In Battle Creek, Michigan, a church has turned to holding online Sunday service during the pandemic, and in doing so, has gained a larger congregation. While there are limitations to attending online services, and som...

The Land

Lee Chilcote

19 January 2021

Cleveland, Ohio, United States

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In Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood, a community effort is underway that aims to do "nothing but positive things." During the coronavirus pandemic, the group of volunteers has held fundraisers for community mem...

Cronkite News - Arizona PBS

Jordan Elder

11 January 2021

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

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A hotline staffed by teenagers for teenagers has been providing peer-to-peer support and counseling services in Arizona for years but has played an even bigger role during the coronavirus pandemic. The group quickly p...

The Local

Marta Silvia Viganò

15 December 2020

Wales

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In Wales, the African Community Centre which has previously offered culturally competent mental health care services to youth in the African community in the city, has expanded its services to "Black, Asian and minori...

QNotes

Chris Rudisill

27 November 2020

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

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What began as informal online gaming sessions grew into a group of hundreds of LGBTQ gamers, calling themselves Charlotte Gaymers Network, that fostered community and a safe place to gather during the pandemic. Though...

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Ryan Faircloth

18 October 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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Students in fraternities and sororities at the University of Minnesota have moved many of their social activities to a virtual space and are taking precautions for those living in Greek housing to protect members and ...

National Native News

Art Hughes

8 October 2020

Northern Cheyenne Tribal Nation, Montana, United States

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The Northern Cheyenne Tribe’s Elderly Program Facebook page posted a call for pen pals to keep Northern Cheyenne elders engaged and socially connected during COVID-19 lockdowns. The program started by profiling ten re...

The Boston Globe

Armand Manoukian

7 October 2020

United States

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An online forum focused on providing an outlet for those who are seeking a way "to share their experiences with COVID-19" has gained a global community with participants from five countries engaging in discussions. Al...

WBEZ

Edie Rubinowitz

7 September 2020

Illinois, United States

Radio

5-15 Minutes

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The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated how seniors are able to come together for companionship, but groups in Illinois are trying to utilize technology to address the problem. While the digital divide is a significant ...

The New York Times

Julia Hotz

29 August 2020

United States

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Coronavirus-related loneliness increased demand for groups that help people make personal connections and new friends, even if at a distance. A New York MeetUp, “I wanted to do that … just not alone”, has seen attenda...

BBC

Jessica Jones

26 August 2020

London, England

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Bartering has surged in popularity as neighbors and community members seek hard-to-find items during the pandemic. Groups with thousands of members have emerged, and people are trading household items as well as their...

Wired

Kate Knibbs

22 June 2020

Japan

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Robot pet therapy, which uses a social robot designed to look like a small animal, weigh the same as an infant, and communicate in a socially comforting way, is helping isolated seniors find a sense of companionship d...

The Washington Post

Tara Bahrampour

19 June 2020

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

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When the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in widespread lockdowns, a Washington, D.C. Episcopal day school partnered with a retirement home to help students and seniors provide companionship to one another and decrease lone...

Religion News Service

Yonat Shimron

11 June 2020

Florida, United States

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When the coronavirus pandemic shut down large gatherings, some churches in the U.S. began offering outdoor services to safely serve their congregations – such as in one retirement community in Florida where members at...

Are We Europe

Juliette Bretan

9 June 2020

Poland

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In Poland, a volunteer helpline connects elderly residents who call in with volunteers to engage in compassionate conversation during the coronavirus pandemic. While other hotlines exist that help provide aid services...

The Laconia Daily Sun

Roberta Baker

12 May 2020

Tilton, New Hampshire, United States

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In New Hampshire, nursing homes and veteran's homes are turning to online video conferencing and outdoor socially-distanced activities to manage the patients' feelings of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. Alt...

Minority Africa

Torinmo Salau

10 May 2020

Lagos, Nigeria

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Pregnant women in Nigeria are turning to virtual support groups to help manage anxiety and fear they feel about delivering a baby during the coronavirus pandemic. Although the telehealth transition for doctor visits h...

The Laconia Daily Sun

Roberta Baker

23 April 2020

Lakes Region, New Hampshire, United States

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The Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region in New Hampshire have quickly pivoted to offering online classes and outreach to help their students and their family to maintain some semblance of social connection, routin...

WPXI-TV

Ryan Houston

15 April 2020

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Broadcast TV News

Under 3 Minutes

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In cities across the United States, the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately impacting communities of color in part due to a lack of information being provided to these areas. A non-profit in Pittsburg is workin...

The Sierra Nevada Ally

Jessica Santina

12 April 2020

Reno, Nevada, United States

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When the size of group gatherings began to be limited to prevent the spread of COVID-19, recovery programs had to rethink how to hold meetings – such as moving groups to online formats. Although there are limitations ...

WRC-TV

Jackie Bensen

7 April 2020

Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Broadcast TV News

Under 3 Minutes

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Connecting to a priest—by video or telephone—can offer relief to those dying alone. The Virginia Theological Seminary and General Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, recently launched Dial-A-Priest, a servic...

LAist

Mike Roe

2 April 2020

Los Angeles, California, United States

Photojournalism

800-1500 Words

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With COVID19 putting the majority of us in self-isolation or quarantine, LA-based photographers have found unique ways to capture this moment. Without coming into contact with individuals – which is often a fundamenta...

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes; Kriston Bethel; Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

All other photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license, and are credited to the following photographers: Rowan El Shimi; Samuele Arcidiacono; Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2017 © DW/H. W. Lamberz

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