Why hello there, Windy City
If you live in or near Chicago, we’ve got good news for you. The title of this article is a dead giveaway, of course: but yes, Stitch is coming to Chicago!
This post is intended to give our members in Chicago a bit of an idea of what’s coming your way, and how you can best get involved.
(Of course, if you happen to live somewhere else then you may still find the article worth a read. Stitch members all over the world are often interested in what we’re doing to grow Stitch in new cities; the more the community grows in new areas, the better the community becomes for all our members. If you like the sound of what’s happening in Chicago and you’d like to help us do the same to bring the Stitch Community to your area, please let us know!)
If you live in Chicago and have signed up for Stitch, you may have already started to see a number of new activities and events being scheduled as the community gets started.
What you probably don’t know, however, is why that’s happening.
Over the last 18 months close to a thousand members have signed up to Stitch in Chicago, despite the fact we hadn’t launched yet in the area or done any form of promotion or advertising.
As a result, the community in Chicago had plenty of potential members but hadn’t become an active community with local Stitch Community Champions yet.
Stitch relies on members to help us build the Community in their areas, so it’s always a little bit random where and when a new community area pops up. Often it will just start with a single person willing to take the leap to get things started in their area, and is persistent enough to keep at it long enough for the community to get started.
That’s changing for Stitch as a result of our partnership with SilverSneakers, which recently helped us launch the Stitch community in Phoenix. The outcomes of that community launch were amazing, for both SilverSneakers members and the Stitch community more broadly.
Phoenix members who got engaged in the community:
- were 5x more socially active as a result of joining Stitch
- were over 40% more physically active
- reported a 54% reduction in feeling lonely or isolated
- did incredible things to help grow the community in their areas, and reported that Stitch had changed their lives.
You can check out our videos page for an idea of what the community achieved for itself in Phoenix, or click on the image below:
Next stop, Chicago
The community success in Phoenix led SilverSneakers to extend and expand its partnership with Stitch, and identify Chicago as the next location for our joint community launch.
And if it’s successful, we’re hoping to expand to cities right across the country.
How exciting is that?
As thrilled as we are to be launching the community in Chicago, however, we know that we can’t do it without you.
We’re going to need you to do a couple of things to make sure the community in Chicago grows in your area and turns into something you love being part of.
First, complete your profile
Local Stitch community volunteers will be organizing activities and events in various locations, based on the members who have signed up in those areas.
The only way for them to know where to organize these activities is if you complete your Stitch Profile.
If you don’t create at least a simple Stitch profile, then your local Community Champions will never even find out you’ve signed up. They won’t be able to reach out to you to invite you to activities they organize, and won’t have a clue about the sorts of activities that might interest you.
If you don’t create at least a simple Stitch profile, then your local Community Champions will never even find out you’ve signed up.
You don’t need to put much in your profile, as you can always come back to it later. Just a photo of yourself and 3 or 4 sentences about yourself and what interests you.
Creating a profile is easy: just visit the Profile page on Stitch and answer the questions provided. You can read a help article about it here, and can always contact the Stitch team for help if you need assistance.
Make sure you add a few interests to your profile too, as this really helps other members know what sorts of activities they should suggest!
Check if you are entitled to a complimentary Stitch membership
If you haven’t done so already, one of the first things you should do is check whether your health plan entitles you to a complimentary Community membership on Stitch, courtesy of SilverSneakers.
New members in Chicago will be prompted for their “eligibility check” when they first register to Stitch, but if you’ve already signed up, you can perform the check simply by visiting the Membership page on Stitch.
Entitled members will be eligible for other benefits too, so make sure you don’t miss out!
Please note that this program is currently only available in the Chicago and Phoenix areas, but we hope to expand this to other areas in future.
Stitch was built from the ground up to be a very safe community for its members. One of the ways we do this is to require all members to verify their account before they can communicate with other members online through Stitch.
This simple measure keep scammers out of the community.
(The threat of scammers & fraudsters is very real, and is the biggest risk facing anyone using the Internet to interact with other people, whether that is through Facebook, email, social media, or other platforms like Stitch. If you’d like more background, check out our guide to staying safe online.)
You can get verified by coming along to a Stitch event and asking the organizer to verify you.
As an unverified member, you can only attend 3 activities before the system will force you to get verified, so make sure you don’t forget!
If you’ve already attended 3 activities, or don’t want to wait to attend an event before getting verified, you can choose to get verified online instead.
To find out how to get verified online, please have a read of the Stitch Help Center articles on getting verified.
Finally, once you’re verified, there is nothing holding you back from getting actively engaged in making the community what you want it to be.
The Stitch Community is powered by our members, many of whom are making amazing contributions to the lives of other members around them, while enriching their own lives at the same time.
Have a read about Stitch’s background if you want to be inspired by how important the community is to so many people around the world, and how you can get involved in making your community a success.
Every member of Stitch has one thing in common: they’re interested in meeting new people while doing activities they enjoy. The only thing they’re waiting on is for you to suggest what you want to do. So get started today!
It could be:
- A coffee get-together to discuss getting the community started in your area
- A trip to a movie you’d like to see
- A walk on the weekend
- A class you’d like to attend
- A visit to a flea market
- or anything else you’ve got an interest in doing. It’s totally up to you!
OK, that’s it for now. We’re thrilled to see so many new members joining in the the Chicago area, we now just want you to start getting involved so we can all make the community in Chicago incredible!