The Monroe County Circles Initiative has an urgent need for volunteers to help end poverty in Monroe County. Please join us for an informal discussion about the volunteer opportunities within the Circles Community.
This discussion will be held next Monday, Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the South Central Community Action Program, 1500 W. 15th Street. Coffee and dessert will be served. Please RSVP by Friday, Nov. 12 to email@example.com or 812-339-3447, ext. 206.
Here is a statement by current Circles Ally Markus Dickinson about his volunteer experience:
“My wife and I joined the Circles program with the idea that poverty was bad, and we had no idea what to do about it,” Dickinson said. “It’s a shame, we thought, that we really don’t know anyone in poverty and we only know bits and pieces of the research on poverty.
“So, we signed on to be Allies, partnering to move them out of poverty, despite barely knowing what that meant. What prevented us from joining sooner was the imposing 18-month commitment required of Allies. But that’s one thing we discovered: it’s not a commitment any more than a friendship is a commitment. It’d be weird to say that you have an 18-month friendship, and it’d also be missing the point.
“We’ve been able to help someone and, at the same time, have them help us. Like friends do. In good times and bad times. It’s been eye-opening to see how hard some things are for people in poverty, like housing issues or car troubles, but wonderful to see how deeply the friendship can grow in the midst of those hardships. That’s why we signed up: for a deeper sense of community, here in Bloomington.”
The Circles® Initiative facilitates intentional relationships between people who have sufficient resources to thrive and those who do not. A Circle Leader is someone who is motivated to increase his/her resources in order to move out of poverty. A Circle Ally is someone who has sufficient and stable resources, and an interest in eliminating poverty in Monroe County. Each Circle Leader is matched with 3-4 Circle Allies creating a circle of support. These circles not only help individuals move out of poverty, but they work to break down class stereotypes, advocate for the poor, and create a more sustainable economy for our whole community!
Come and learn more about:
- Becoming an Ally!
- Helping cook & serve a meal at our weekly Circles® Community meeting!
- Volunteering with our Youth Program!
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