31 minutes | Oct 25, 2017

002: What it Means to be a Neighbor with Sloane Davidson

There has never been an easy time to be an immigrant in America. The challenge of a new country, a new culture, a new language and a new neighborhood can be incredibly overwhelming. For many families, a friend or welcoming neighbor can make the transition significantly easier.   An organization based out of Pittsburgh called Hello Neighbor is working to connect immigrant families with mentor families. This program was inspired by a shared Thanksgiving meal; now it is an organization improving the lives of many immigrant and mentor families. Immigrants have the chance to be matched with a mentor family, they grow a relationship by spending time getting to know each other through planned and casual get-together’s.   Sloane Davidson, the founder of Hello Neighbor, is a creative philanthropist who started small. First, Sloane began organizing small gatherings for groups of immigrants and other community members. After feeling a wave of positivity, Sloane continued to feel compelled to take action.   Hello Neighbor is based on friendship and there is a mutual respect between the mentors and the immigrants. The immigrants have a connection to a new culture and community and the mentors are inspired by the resilience, kindness and gratitude of the immigrants.   Currently, Hello Neighbor has 25 immigrant families matched with mentor families. These families are from Iraq, Syria, Congo and other countries. The families bond by attending potlucks, museums, baseball games and other meaningful, fun activities.   An organization like Hello Neighbor will touch lives now, and for many years to come. There is no way to measure the impact Sloane, her crew at Hello Neighbor, the mentors and the immigrants will have in their communities.   Key Takeaways: [00:02] Sloane Davidson is introduced. [01:30] Sloane’s unique experiences laid the foundation for the work she is doing now. [03:32] Hello Neighbor started with Sloane hosting a Syrian family for Thanksgiving. [06:15] Sloane discusses the relationship that began with the Syrian family she shared Thanksgiving with. [07:05] Sloane shared her experience with the refugees she formed a friendship with and it went viral. [07:45] What it’s like to work in a politically charged space. Are immigrants and refugees good or bad for our economy/country? [08:58] Hello Neighbor, a mentorship program for refugees and immigrants is explained in detail. [11:06] Sloane discusses the strength and resilience of immigrants and refugees. [13:50] How to draw personal boundaries and simplify when you work with people. [17:07] Heather shares one of Geben Communications “house rules”. [18:05] Sometimes the best part of the day are small moments. [19:43] Another “house rule” is shared: doing well by doing good. Discussion on how Sloane has exemplifies that rule. [22:19] Financial frugality has played a role in Sloane’s journey to success. [24:10] It takes a balance of confidence and vulnerability to start something like Hello Neighbor. [25:20] Self-doubt exists even in confident, committed people. [26:35] How to turn frustration into action and start small. [30:43] Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter @prtini, and use the hashtag #rewritetherules. Please like, share, and review if you like what you heard today.     Mentioned in this Episode: http://prtini.com/about/ @prtini https://www.sloanedavidson.com https://www.helloneighbor.io https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/institutes/womens-philanthropy-institute/index.html https://supperwith.us https://www.gebencommunication.com Soundcloud.com/adamsinger     Twitter:   “Start small, start anywhere, do what you can.”   “You have to put your actions where your heart is.”   “I really try to come from a place of optimism and abundance and think the best of people.”   “My job is not to beat myself up about the bad days, but to feel good about the good ones.”   “I really have learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”   “It’s a myth to think that everybody is..100% committed all the time.”  
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