How to Be Alone, Together

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Right now, it may feel difficult to stay engaged and connected while protecting your health by social distancing at home. That’s why we’ve put together some fun resources to help you, your family and your friends continue showing up for your community, getting engaged (Step 1 in the Roots & Shoots 4-Step Formula) and learning along the way! Here are some ideas for a productive and engaging transition being at home full time:

Create a Virtual Book/Movie Club

Now is an excellent time to get into a new documentary or read a new book, sharing your insights and reflections with friends and family! Get family members, friends, and neighbors to read/watch the books and/or films you choose together, and then come together on a video conference (like Zoom) or Facetime. Prepare some discussion questions and tie in how your book and/or movie may connect to problems in your own community (Observation is Step 2 of the 4-Step Formula!). Finally, come up with short and long-term solutions with your club members. You can add your club to our Roots & Shoots group page here, and use social media to post about your cool club and recruit new members.

Do a Roots & Shoots 1-Click Action

A Roots & Shoots 1-Click Action is a great way to do something in a fast and focused way in just the click of a button! From protecting forests to reducing plastic waste, there are so many ways to get involved from home. Our Roots & Shoots community has completed THOUSANDS of 1-Clicks, making the world a better place 1-click at a time! Check out this one on protecting native bees, and this one about understanding other identities and experiences through stories.

Take an Online Class

Have you ever wanted to learn about something new or hone an existing skill? There are thousands of online classes available that range in topic and difficulty level. Masterclass offers classes taught by community activists, scientists, musicians, and one by our very own Dr. Jane Goodall on conservation. You can also take our Roots & Shoots Online Class right now for free!

Start or Join a Community Project

Not all community projects are possible while it’s not safe to gather in groups, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of safe ways to create your own project or join an existing one in your neighborhood! Help deliver supplies to those in need, restore a local habitat, support ways to end violence – there are so many ways to take action to improve your community today. Along the way, you’ll restore your feeling of connection and purpose! Learn more and find local projects here. Once you click the “View Project Map” link at the top of the page, you can explore projects by location to find one near you or start your own!

Check in on Your Friends and Neighbors

It’s so important to talk to friends and family every day to maintain a healthy mindset, but it’s just as important to make sure your friends and family are feeling connected too. Check in to make sure members of your community have what they need and remind each other what community is all about. For some ideas on how to stay mindful and focus, read this blog and this one from Roots & Shoots Youth Leaders.

Support Healthcare & First Responders

Ask your friends who work in health care or service delivery how you can help them. Many Americans are risking their own safety to continue working on frontlines of this crisis. Doctors and nurses are still going to work, delivery people are still delivering packages, and grocery store employees are still helping people get what they need. Reach out to someone you know in one of these industries to find ways you can help. Check out these great Roots & Shoots projects that do just that and get inspired to start your own!

Make the Most of Technology

Thanks to technology, we have a world of information, education and human connection at our fingertips. Now is the time to take advantage of the many benefits offered by technology to stay in touch and reach out. Schedule facetimes or video chats with friends, family members, and elderly neighbors or take some time out of your day to teach older family member how to use technology themselves.

Read more from Kamilah Martin, vp of Roots & Shoots USA on how to stay hopeful and take action here.


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The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Victoria Vinall is the Roots & Shoots communications coordinator. Victoria grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, and previously worked as a media manager for NextGen America (a youth vote organization) in Pennsylvania and as a press secretary for Tom Steyer and his philanthropies in San Francisco. Victoria is a graduate of Dickinson College and loves volunteering on campaigns and fostering shelter animals. She is based in the DC area.