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SPECIAL INVITATION: Hopeful Connections Card Game

Once amid the crowded atmosphere of a children’s hospital playroom, one solitary figure, Timmy, caught my attention, sparking a moment of connection that would linger in my memory for years to come. While the other kids eagerly immersed themselves in games and toys, Timmy seemed lost in his own thoughts, his head bowed and fists clenched. Curious about his demeanor, I approached him rather than inundating him with toys. As we sat together, Timmy confided in me about his sadness at his parents having to leave him for the morning. Surprised by the unexpected connection, I shared my own feelings of homesickness as a college student missing my family. Our shared vulnerability broke down barriers, leading to smiles and laughter as we bonded over our common experiences. Before long, we were running around the room with the other kids, enjoying ourselves in a game of Spiderman on the Xbox. The reason I shared this story is because, reflecting on this encounter, I realized the importance of genuine connection and authenticity in building relationships, whether with children or adults. It’s not about impressing others with superficial details but about sharing what truly matters to us. This meaningful interaction served as guide for how I would like to relate to people going forward.

As I brainstormed a fun way to do just that at Open Spirit, I thought about crafting a “Hopeful Connections” card game. This immediately actionable game idea would be designed to facilitate essential intrapersonal and interpersonal conversations, guiding us towards core ideas and values that enhance our connection. Three key inspirations drove me to finally pilot this idea: Harvard Medical School Lecture The spark for this project ignited during a transformative lecture at Harvard Medical School, where I was introduced to the HOPE spiritual care tool. Developed to deepen connections between healthcare professionals and patients, the principles of this tool resonated deeply with me. Through using the questionnaire in class with my peers, I witnessed firsthand how discussions on hope, meaning, spirituality, and purpose can transcend superficial interactions, fostering authentic connections and lasting friendships. Social Isolation Even in a bustling college town like Cambridge, MA, I couldn’t help but notice the prevalence of loneliness and disconnection among university students. This observation reminded me of the need for tangible solutions to address social isolation. I believe Open Spirit provides an ideal setting to play the game as a proof of concept for broader contexts, given its significant impact on community engagement and fostering important dialogues.

Desire for Social Cohesion At the heart of my project lies a deep-seated desire to promote social cohesion and well-being among diverse groups of people. Drawing on my networking experiences interning with Open Spirit and engaging with non-profit leaders, health practitioners, and faith leaders in greater Boston, I’ve come to value what truly matters to people. By facilitating conversations on topics like hope and purpose, I aim to bridge perspectives and create a sense of true belonging.

Join me on May 5th at Open Spirit for an afternoon of meaningful connections and transformative dialogue. As I celebrate my time from this amazing internship, I invite you to be a part of this special opportunity, where we can connect, have fun, and share together – one conversation at a time. See you there and tell your friends!


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