All this month, the local non-profit Hello Neighbor is collecting short videos and photographs of Savannahians expressing what they support in our community. On Oct. 31, the images and recordings will be compiled together and broadcast as a "Virtual Parade" at Starland Yard.


The group’s initiative, called "Together We Support," has the goal of strengthening our connections and combating antagonism.



"We’ve had a lot of divisiveness, not particularly just in Savannah, but throughout the country," said lead organizer Lisa Rundstrom. "It’s something where we’re seeing a lot of regression, and culture wars, and things like that have been really dominant.


"Hello Neighbor is an event and a set of platforms that are designed to bring people together to help create community."


Each Saturday through Oct. 24, the organization is setting up a video booth at the Forsyth Park Farmer’s Market where those interested in participating can record a 20-60 second statement to be included in the video presentation.


"We’re asking people to create a really short video and it just says, ‘Hello neighbor, my name is,’ and then they introduce themselves, and they can say something about themselves," explained Rundstrom.


"And then, ‘Together, we support [fill in the blank] in our community.’ And they have to think of that. Whether it’s equality or black lives, just kind of searching ourselves and really considering what is important to me in my community. What does matter to me?"


Those who aren’t able to make it to the Farmer’s Market to shoot footage with the group directly can still produce a recording on their own and post it to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #HelloNeighborSAV. This will alert the staff at Hello Neighbor that they’ve created a video, allowing them to add it to the "Virtual Parade."


Better yet, would-be paraders can submit and register their supportive messages at HelloNeighborSAV.com, the non-profit’s website.


Those who would prefer not to be in front of the camera have an additional opportunity to get involved: The organization has likewise created a "Together We Support" yard sign with a blank field, allowing folks to write in their own message.


Once created, Hello Neighbor is asking people to take a picture of the sign and post it on social media, again with the hashtag #HelloNeighborSAV, so that Rundstom and other volunteers can find it and add it to the presentation.


"With this being an election year for us, a presidential election year, I knew obviously it wasn’t going to get any better right now," she related.


"So we also introduced a yard sign in this campaign as well that kind of helps neutralize some of that, so that we’re not just seeing political candidate yard signs out there, we’re also seeing some ‘Hello Neighbor’ yard signs out there to remind people that we’re neighbors and together we support many positive things as well."


The free event at Starland Yard begins with a socially-distanced yoga class hosted by Savannah Power Yoga at 12:30 p.m., with a class limit of 20 participants. As the day goes on, organizers will be broadcasting the videos and images collected thus far, as well as taking live recordings from attendees.


Rundstrum hopes that the clips and yard signs "create some kind of video landscape."


Adding, "they impact the way we feel support and our message to our neighbors. We know other neighbors are standing with us in support of these positive ideas. I think it’s really important. We see plenty of reinforcement about negative impacts, so we really need to start visually showing that support in other ways.


"It’s kind of a challenge. I’m calling it a call to action."