The Center of Humanitarian Engagement (CHE) has launched a program to combat the loneliness people may be feeling during the pandemic. Dubbed the Hey Neighbor Neighbor project, this program will provide challenges for student participants to engage in their communities and make essential connections.
The challenges are delivered to subcribers via text messaging and fall into four categories: meaningful connection, engagement that counts, purposeful surprises, and practical service. Anyone wanting to participate can subscribe to the challenges by texting HeyNN to 51400.
With these challenges, the goal is to encourage people to meet members of the community that they’ve never met. In this way, the Hey Neighbor Neighbor team hopes to foster positive interaction and a neighborly atmosphere. Senior theology major and Hey Neighbor Neighbor manager, Madison Turner hopes to add a spiritual aspect as well in a way that would be inclusive to everyone regardless of the religious background or lack thereof.
To launch the project, the first event included a collaboration with Care Weekend. Every Saturday, the Care Weekend team organizes opportunities for students to go out into the neighborhood to serve. Care Weekend projects vary from blanket making to bringing food to the local soup kitchen. The Hey Neighbor Neighbor project expands the idea of single opportunities into weekly challenges that students can complete on their own time.
Hey Neighbor Neighbor has partnered with Care Weekend several times in November and December doing virtual challenges on Instagram, such as writing encouraging notes to a friend.
Turner says, “Hey Neighbor Neighbor is meant to not only impact our campus but impact the whole community and maybe, one day, the world.” So far, the program has seen a soft launch on the WWU campus with the hope of expanding outside of it.
The Hey Neighbor Neighbor team has big dreams to expand the program to include a Spanish option for both the challenges and a website down the line.
The CHE is a Walla Walla University organization that provides impactful, sustainable ways for students to volunteer and encourages “connecting to Christ through service.”
Posted on Feb. 2, 2022.