What is Circles?
“Our mission is to inspire and equip families and communities to thrive and end poverty. Circles is a community driven solution to addressing the underlying causes of poverty and supporting families in a holistic, long term pathway to economic stability.”
People in poverty need to be in charge of their own lives. In our model they are known as Circle Leaders and over the course of their involvement in Circles, each Leader takes an increasingly active role in leading their Circle and giving back to the community. A Circle is a supportive, intentional, reciprocal, befriending relationship made up of one Circle Leader who is a person living in poverty and two to three Circle Allies who are volunteers willing to build supportive relationships that help people achieve their goals. Allies join Circle Leaders in advocating for removing community barriers for people who are working to move out of poverty.
The Circles St. George began operation in December 2014. The site currently supports Circle Leaders with Allies, and many food, kitchen clean up and childcare volunteers. Our meetings begin with a family style meal at 5:30 each week. The meal is followed by announcements and then a monthly meeting content that includes, education topics on the first week, “Matched Circles” the second week, “Guiding Coalition” meetings on the third week and “Big View” meetings on the fourth week. When there is a fifth week in the month we have a “Family Fun” night. Education topics will include subjects such as access to affordable health care, housing options, credit management, and budgeting. Future topics will include education options including financial assistance programs, career opportunities, job application strategies including resume writing and other topics as identified. The “Matched Circles” meetings allow the Circle leaders and Allies to discuss life goals, strategies, barriers and plans to move forward. Everyone (including the Allies) is encouraged to establish goals and talk about the progress they are making. The Circles Network is available to assist Circle leaders in overcoming the barriers to achieving their goals. The “Guiding Coalition” teams include all of the Circle leaders and Allies and are focused on Circle Leader Resources, Site Resources and Community Activity. “Big View” meetings are focused on issues such as transportation, housing, access to job training and education, availability of “reasonable interest” credit, etc. These discussions will involve stakeholders and civic leaders and are intended to generate advocacy for needed changes in our community to enable people to move up the economic ladder.
When: Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 PM
Where: Washington City Community Center
When: Wednesdays 5:30-7:30 PM
Where: Children’s Museum, 86 S. Main (On the third floor)
Allies are trained volunteers from our community engaging in an intentional, befriending relationship with an individual or family working to become self-sufficient. A Circle Ally looks just like YOU! Someone who genuinely wants to share their gifts, talents, and most importantly their friendship, with a Circle Leader who is struggling to become self-sufficient and working on creating a better life for their family!
Citywide Guiding Coalition: is the primary organizing body for the St. George Circles by providing leadership, guidance and oversight. It gives input and direction for future programming including the sustainability and expansion of the existing Circles Initiative.
The Circles St. George is comprised of the following seven teams:
We need volunteers like yourself to be a part of the St. George Circles Network! If interested in sharing and joining one of our teams please email:
Assures that there are sufficient resources to implement Circles St. George. Develops a Comprehensive Fundraising Plan. Invites funders to Citywide Circle events. Develops a sustainability plan. Participates in budget development and quarterly review of revenue and expenses. Membership will include a representative from all local site Fundraising teams.
Develops a volunteer base of Trainers. Manages Curriculum. Plans Trainings.
Nurtures and fans the flames for those interested in hosting a Circle Site. Identifies areas for potential site development.Identifies Champions within the potential site.Provides “Coaching” support. In order to be part of Circles St. George, the host site must work with the guidance of this team.
Develops branding (logo, etc). Develops a media plan. Develops a volunteer base of speakers and coordinates speakers calendar. Secures Publicity for Sites and Citywide eventsAssists with community-wide mindset change.
Builds social capital and networks that increase Circles’ access to education and employment in the community. Develops and leads car donations, revolving loans, matched savings programs and self-sufficiency tools. (Note: Circles USA shows this as part of the fundraising team).
Has representatives from each of the local site’s Big View Team. Gathers community leaders and Circles members to identify, discuss and problem solve citywide barriers to getting out of poverty. Works closely with the Public Relations – Marketing Team to communicate progress and results.
Prepare a Meal
Become involved in an innovative way by providing a meal for one of our meetings. You will prepare an entree, side and dessert for 50 people on the 3rd or 4th Wednesday and deliver it to the Children’s Museum at 5:30 p.m.
Recruit others to become involved in the campaign. If you know a family that would benefit, get them involved or recruit individuals from your social network to volunteer.