Last week, I walked into A Wider Circle’s Silver Spring Center for a meeting. It was noon on a typical day, with neighbors waiting patiently in our lobby to select and take home items they needed.

As I entered our furniture showroom, I was disheartened by what I saw.

There was almost nothing to offer the families in the lobby or those in the intake rooms excited for their new home furnishings.

“Are there any more items downstairs or at the off-site warehouse?” I asked a team member.

“We are pulling anything we can find and even asking our pick-up routes to come back mid-route to drop off items. But this is all we have.”

I was equally stunned when I walked to our small pantry area and saw the shelves barren there as well. The Ward 8 Hub was the same, with their Little Free Pantry empty and their food shelves with only a few items.

The need does not pause.

We are about halfway through the summer. Schools are out, many families take time away, and regular activities pause.

But as we head into the next heat wave of the season, the needs of our neighbors do not pause.

As we try to continue our work with this level of scarcity, I am often thinking of how:

  • Neighbors are sitting and sleeping on the floor of their living space with few belongings, and we cannot easily book their appointments for support.
  • Families are coming in excited to select furnishings and home goods but have little, if anything, to select from.  
  • Caseworkers are referring families to us who are in crisis, and we may only be able to give them partial support

The needs of our neighbors do not pause. And, at A Wider Circle, we do not pause either. We say yes, and we serve to the best of our ability. 

Still, we feel the ripple effect of many other summer pauses.

You can help us turn around this summer of scarcity.

You, even in the heat of summer, can help us serve more effectively and efficiently. 

You can ensure the child, parent, and family does not sit or sleep on the floor or go without many items that we consider most basic. 

Help us turn around our summer of scarcity by dropping off items including:

  • Sofas and upholstered chairs
  • Dining tables and chairs
  • Side tables
  • Lamps
  • Linens
  • Nonperishable food items like cereal, pasta, and protein items like peanut butter and tuna
  • Household and personal care items like soap, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies

There are two questions when considering a furniture piece for donation: 

  1. Is it of the quality and condition to give your best friend or neighbor?
  2. Is it something that would fit and be useful in a studio apartment?

A note on pick-ups: While many of you have larger pieces willing to donate, we have a hard time scheduling in-home pick-ups of larger items, in part due to staffing shortages. While we will do our best to schedule you as quickly as possible, please consider:

  • Dropping off items
  • Renting or borrowing a larger vehicle to bring items to us
  • Seeing if friends or neighbors also have items to donate, and sharing the expense of renting a truck or hiring a service to bring all of the items to us in one trip

A Wider Circle is a yes organization. We operate this way because so many community members, like you, offer time, talent, and treasure. On any given day, dozens of you may stop in and drop off items.

Help us turn around our summer of scarcity by dropping off items

If you do not have in-kind items to donate but still want to help, consider having items sent to us via our Amazon Wishlists for nonperishable food or other needed essentials.

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