Left to Our Own Devices Podcast

Episode 7: Danielle Cantor

Danielle Cantor

Relationships are Everything: How to Protect Yourself in Quarantine with DoSomething’s CEO, Aria Finger

As CEO of global non-profit, DoSomething, and a working mom doing it all from home, Aria Finger has found creative ways to keep her kids entertained with Frozen on repeat, her team in good spirits by pivoting to virtual rituals, and her relationships with her friends well-nurtured through intentional calls and Zooms. But even this superstar confesses to missing the old norms like business travel and walking meetings. So these days to keep everyone sane (including Aria herself!) she’s encouraged a Co-workers’ Bill of Rights to mitigate the flood of Zoom meetings, maintained DoSomething’s weekly stuffed-penguin ritual, and kicked off new initiatives to engage youth like Senior Homies, where young people call seniors in their life to check in with them and report back the stories and wisdom they learned—what a win-win! Listen for a shot of positivity and enthusiasm directly into your day.

Quotes

3:08: “Relationships are everything…I’ve been texting like crazy with all of my friends, of course, and Zooming like crazy to stay in touch. And it’s just more important than ever now…Now is the time to feel more connected than ever because we’re all going through this unbelievable time.”

6:19: “There was this Co-workers’ Bill of Rights we saw that was really smart. Zoom is great, but if a co-worker says, ‘I need to be off Zoom for the next hour,’ you say, ‘Okay, cool. That totally works.’ If something can be done via email, especially for working moms and dads where a 9 p.m. email is much easier than a scheduled Zoom which might interfere with nap time—how do we adjust our compassion and empathy for our co-workers during this new time and ways that can make it much easier for folks who might not be able to do the normal nine to five?”

8:45: “Back pre-covid, a coffee date with a co-worker was good for your mental health, or in your meeting with a senior leader, you got your steps in and you also got your coffee. Whereas now a 30-minute video call can provide some of those things, but often it feels like a burden instead of a break.”

14:57: “From the very beginning of the pandemic, the number one concern for young people was senior citizens—their own grandparents, other people’s health—what could they do? And so the campaigns team super smartly launched a brand new campaign called Senior Homies, which is all about calling your own grandparents, a senior you know or get in touch with a random senior center, and have a conversation. It could be via Zoom, it could be via phone, with a senior, to fend off isolation. It gives these seniors a relationship, but also, you learn stories. So we ask them to swap stories and then report back on what are the stories they’ve swapped with a senior.”

Resources

DoSomething.org