Ladies Out Loud provide virtual Christmas Day gathering for those who want companionship

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by iStock

The organizer of Ladies Out Loud (LOL), a social group for women to learn, laugh and live, is hosting Karen’s Teatime Chatter on Dec. 25 at 2 pm.

The online event will allow local women in need of some companionship on the holiday to join together for some fun.

“One has to remember that although some of us have our partners or kids at home, not everyone is as fortunate,” says Karen MacDonald, organizer.

“The holiday season can be a very lonely time for a lot of people even for those who don’t live alone.”

She adds that offering a space for people to connect with each other (pandemic or not) creates community and a shared feeling of belonging.

That is the premise behind LOL.

“Ladies Out Loud has evolved through the years but one thing has never changed and that is the sense of belonging, the connection with others and the friendships we gain when we come together,” says MacDonald.

“When I hear any of the ladies mention the friendships they have made through LOL, it fills my heart.”

LOL was founded in 2016 and offers a mix of social, fun and educational events and activities for women. The group of about 100 women also support local organizations and charities, mostly those that offer programs and services for women. LOL has raised approximately $80,000 for local causes.

“Ladies Out Loud was created to bring women together for the purpose of socializing, educating and having fun, all in a safe supportive environment,” says MacDonald.

“It offers women a platform to share their personal stories and talents. Women are keen learners and we have had many meaningful discussions about topics ranging from: our environment to keeping bees, from stories of overcoming adversity to sharing our many successes and talents.”

MacDonald says that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on LOL gatherings such as dance, yoga, book club, games, dinner and movies because it is not the same to meet online as it is in-person.

However, the LOL Airdrie Ladies Walking subgroup has taken off since the pandemic.

“This gave us the exercise, connection and fresh air we needed and got us through the summer and well into fall and now winter,” says MacDonald.

“It has been a great way to be with others and exploring our own community.”

MacDonald says although events like Karen’s Teatime Chatter are great, you do not need an organized virtual event to take care of those around you.

“We need each other more than ever right now,” she adds.

“We can’t assume that our family, friends or neighbours are all doing OK. Check in with them, connect with them, ask them how they are doing. We all need to feel we are cared for. It’s also important to look after yourself. If you need someone to talk to please remember you are not alone.”

For more information on LOL, click here or visit them on Facebook.