Relationships matter to your health. Strong connections with friends and neighbors mean people are more likely to be involved in their communities, perform better in school, and live happier and healthier lives.
Research has shown that social networks and support can positively influence health, while social isolation can have a negative impact on individual health. A 2006 literature review from scholars at Cornell University indicates widespread, international interest in the social and relational factors of health.
Does your organization help strengthen connections among friends, neighbors, and community members? InCommons is proud to collaborate with the Blue Cross Foundation on their new grant making initiative - the Connect for Health Challenge - that celebrates and encourages community connectivity.
The Connect for Health Challenge will award up to $500,000 to nonprofits, schools and local units of government to support strengthening social connections in low-income communities across Minnesota. Challenge judges will select up to 20 grantees to receive up to $20,000 each, and Minnesotans will determine the recipient of one larger grant (up to $100,000) in a statewide public vote.
The goal of the Challenge is to connect people with others in their neighborhoods and communities and engage these new groups in activities that build support, trust and shared values. Examples of activities include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Community events
- Gathering places
- Neighborhood gatherings
- Participatory arts
- Multi-cultural projects
- Community dialogues
- Local volunteering
- Intergenerational activities
Watch the Connect for Health Challenge video for more inspiration and ideas as you prepare your entry.
Challenge entries open on April 17, so start thinking about what your nonprofit, school, or local unit of government could do to help people connect in your community. Visit our website to learn more or to sign up for email updates about important Challenge deadlines and happenings.
C'mon Minnesota, let's get connected and get healthy!