By Katy Schultz - Sr. Communications & Advocacy Consultant

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ChangeX transforming Minnesota communities in unconventional ways

March 15, 2018

While many Minnesota communities face barriers to health, the reality is that some have more challenges than others. In Willmar‚ these barriers are significant.

But the good news is that some of these communities‚ including Willmar‚ have tremendous energy to get involved and help everyone living in the community live their healthiest possible life.

That’s no small task— and it can feel daunting to kick off.

Introducing ChangeX

Enter innovative solutions like Blue Cross’ “Healthy Together Willmar” initiative, which launched in 2016 and aims to create a future where all members of the Willmar community have access to the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their best possible health. (You can also read more about “Healthy Together Willmar in this recent Star Tribune story.)

Most recently, funding for this project supported bringing ChangeX to Willmar. ChangeX is an innovative Irish upstart that provides tools and resources to local community leaders. An online platform, ChangeX started in Dublin in 2014, and recently expanded to Minnesota.

So, what does ChangeX do for communities? Here are a few examples:

  • Want to welcome recent immigrants into your community? Organize a welcome dinner.
  • Looking to bring people of all backgrounds together to build bridges and overcome division? Consider hosting Sambusa Sundays.

These and other great ideas are made available to anyone who wants to become involved.

ChangeX in Willmar

Blue Cross’ support of ChangeX launched in Willmar in early 2018 as the most recent component of Blue Cross’ “Healthy Together Willmar” initiative, a multi-year effort to improve the health of all Willmar community members.

Through Healthy Together Willmar, Blue Cross is also in the process of launching funding and technical support to 14 projects proposed by the community through the Idea Fund, an effort of the Willmar Community Table.

Idea Fund projects include offering support to seniors in the community, providing transition support to new immigrants, and monthly cross-cultural gatherings and intergenerational activities that bring together Somali youth and seniors, among others.

More information about the Idea Fund and Blue Cross’ partnership with ChangeX can be found at HealthyTogetherWillmar.org

Want to make your community healthier?

Blue Cross’ support has allowed ChangeX to expand into Greater Minnesota and provide community members with these proven ideas to achieve positive social change. Partnering with ChangeX is another way Blue Cross is furthering its commitment of advancing health equity – by giving all Minnesotans access to the resources they need to live the healthiest lives possible.

To learn more about healthy changes for your community you can:

  • Learn more about ChangeX
  • Get inspired by the Idea Fund projects
  • Seek out opportunities to meet your neighbor and increase community connection

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