Social events, including church bingo nights, have been off the table for months at the River Oaks 5th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in West Jordan, Utah. Many of its congregants are elderly and, during the pandemic, have not been leaving home or socialising. Listen Technologies has supplied its Listen Everywhere system to allow the HOW to host a socially distanced bingo event in its car park so congregants could get together safely.
“To facilitate the event, I used the Listen Everywhere LW-100 server,” said Carl Brewer of the River Oaks 5th Ward. “The idea was to give the community a way to gather while remaining physically distanced for safety.”
Listen Everywhere delivers clear audio via Wi-Fi to a free app on iOS and Android devices. Using the system, the church broadcast the audio from the caller’s microphone to participants’ smartphones or tablets. From there, participants could listen on their devices or connect the audio to any Bluetooth device, including car stereos or Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. The master of ceremonies called bingo numbers, asked trivia questions and joked with the community members. The church served dinner, drinks and treats to participants in their cars during the drive-in event.
The bingo night attracted nearly 30 cars, with about 80 participants in total. Once everyone was set up, they had a great experience safely connecting with friends. Church leaders didn’t need to worry about spreading the virus via common surfaces or contact because there’s no shared equipment. “I heard from several people that it was fun to get out of the house and have something to do together,” Brewer added. “Once people were set up, they had a great time. People in our community could connect for a few hours outside of a virtual call, and we all had fun.”