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Hélène’s

Faves

Interactive Learning, Support, Connection

Dabble

Similar to Meetup, but with a focus on learning something, it’s a great way to practice a skill while meeting new people, whether in person or virtually. Go it alone, or try it with a girlfriend or on a date night. I loved the calligraphy class I attended with my daughter in Chicago. And the fees are very reasonable.

History Happy Hour

This free biweekly Zoom session by the White House Historical Association features expert presentations about our US Presidents, their families, their pastimes, and more. Loved the one about their vacation getaways! And there’s always a mixologist blending a drink linked to the topic of the day. And if you can’t catch it live, they always send the replay.

Look Over My Shoulder as I Help You Fix Your Slides

Brigette Callahan has been perfecting the art of the PowerPoint presentations for over three decades now and in this free Zoom you can submit a slide and she’ll work her magic on it on the spot. It’s a great way to learn tips and tricks from the master!

Meetup

When we started spending winter in Sarasota, this was my top way to meet new people in the area. I joined Meetup groups focused on current events, French speaking, women 50+, and there are loads to choose from for every interest and hobby you can imagine, in every geographic location.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

This wonderful organization provides in-person and virtual support groups for a range of mental health conditions, both for the person who has the condition as well as for their families.

Podcast Brunch Club

This is like book club, but for podcasts. The brainchild of founder Adela Mizrachi, this free club provides monthly listening lists around a particular topic (Friendship, Women, Black Experiences are a few recent examples). Listen, then join your local in-person meeting or a virtual meeting. Genius!

Support Groups Central

This great site is a one-stop-shop for support on a whole host of issues, from cancer to depression, eating disorders to addiction. We’re talking live Zoom sessions with other sufferers.

The Transition Network

I’ve been a member of the Chicago chapter of this nonprofit for years now, focused on connecting women 50+ who are often in the midst of significant life transitions in midlife and beyond. Only $100 per year and you get access to loads of free workshops online, and inexpensive.

Women Together Connect

Designer Eileen Fisher’s nonprofit organizes these periodic free Zooms, led by marvelous coach Antoinette Klatsky, to explore topics relevant to women. Then we’re thrown into breakout rooms with total strangers to discuss. Scary? Nah! This attracts a super supportive community!