Let a young person in your life know you are thinking about them by sending them an e-card. It’s free, quick, and easy with the potential to have a big impact. Everyone wants to know that there is someone out there who cares about them, even young people who may act like they don’t need anyone. Send a card with a short, personalized message to a niece or nephew, a former student, or a youth in your church community. You can email it or send it via social media.
We all have something laying around our house that we don’t need anymore or haven’t used in forever. Gift this item to a young person in your community. Don’t worry about wrapping it. Just grab it and pass it on to someone you think could use it or would appreciate it. Random giving is a great way to build connections with our fellow community members.
Share a virtual meal with a young person in your life who could use some support or quality time with another human. Ubereats, Grubhub, and DoorDash are great resources to use to get a meal delivered right to their door. Schedule a virtual mealtime together over a video call sometime this week. Take this time together to build a meaningful connection with the youth by finding common ground.
You are gonna need a pen and paper for this week’s activity, so go grab one; we’ll wait… Got it? Okay, draw a star with six points in the middle of the paper. Leave some room to write around the star.
The star has 6 points because we know that each young person should have a minimum of six adults in their lives who are an active source of career information and support. We call this your HUB. These relationships could be with a distanced family member, a former teacher, coach, or employer. For some young people, it is the Judge that presided over their case, a neighbor, and former employer. Write the names of your six people next to each point of the star. Feel free to include people that you don’t have a strong relationship with yet, but you would like to build one. Now reach out to each, letting them know that you joined a new Social Capital Builders program and that you would like to keep each of them updated on your experiences in it.
It’s easy to feel like you are alone in our socially-distanced and virtual world. We can get so wrapped up in our own lives and problems that sometimes we forget that we can ask for support. We don’t have to go through life’s struggles alone. Here’s a challenge for you. Right now, message an adult in your life who could support you when needed. If you need something now, ask for it. Otherwise, just say hi and ask them how they are doing so that you can establish a relationship with them for future support.
Make a calendar and mark off each Friday as “Follow-up Fridays.” Take 15 minutes each Friday to send each of the 6 people listed on your star an update about what you’ve been doing that week to build social capital. Remember social capital is about giving so tell them what you are doing to give to others.