TLDR - YLNI launches new #FortWayneTogether and #NEITogether hashtags to help share local stories in response to COVID-19

So much can change in such a short time! First there were stories from faraway places and then came the stories closer to home. COVID-19 has certainly affected people around the globe and disrupted daily life for many. In northeast Indiana, it started with a single case in Noble County. Before you knew it events were canceled, schools were going online, and restaurants were closing. 

Amidst all of the turmoil and uncertainty - both in terms of public and financial health - there still have been many good stories. From the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, Lucille's BBQ, Caliente Cuban, and others providing lunches to children in need to places like the '07 Pub going an extra step for their service employees, the people of Fort Wayne have been coming together in the face of a global pandemic.

Talk about COVID-19 has been plentiful. It seems like social media is full of friends, family, and colleagues eagerly sharing their thoughts on what we all are experiencing. Some of the information has been helpful - some hasn't been less than helpful, even anxiety-inducing for some.

For me, as one of several stewards of both YLNI's and Living Fort Wayne's social media accounts, I've been asking myself and our team of volunteers what we can do to help in sharing these good community stories. What is the best way to engage without adding to the noise and making things worse? We're not a news organization or journalists - we're just a group engaged volunteers with only so much capacity at our disposal.

That's why we are launching a new social media hashtag campaign, #FortWayneTogether, to help local businesses, non-profits, and individuals share stories about what they are doing in response to COVID-19. Help us help you. By using this hashtag at the end of your social media posts, you're helping us in our attempt to curate community highlights our team will share on our Living Fort Wayne social media platform. 

Here's what we are looking for from this campaign:

  • updates about your local business, school, or non-profit organization.
  • stories about your neighborhood. 
  • and positive community calls-to-action.

People from outside Fort Wayne - we didn't forget about you! You can use our companion hashtag, #NEITogether. 

Admittedly, a hashtag isn't much. It's barely is enough to justify this long-winded blog post. However small this gesture might be, we hope this can spark a conversation and an exchange of ideas as we all work through the next few months during a time of social distancing. 

Even if we are apart for now, together our community can be stronger. 

Email communications@ylni.org if you have ideas of your own you'd be interested in sharing. We'll do our best to see if we have the capacity in organization to help.