By Theo Blair

Hello, neighbors, we meet again! There’s never a shortage of news to share from around our community, so let’s get to this week’s stories! Coming up in this week’s A Wider Community, we’ll be looking at:

So have a seat, kick up your feet, and read something neat — let’s get rolling!

Here comes the Holiday Program!

Named in remembrance of dedicated volunteer Karma Kenny, our Good Karma Holiday Program is already underway to help create memorable holiday moments for neighbors all across our region!

Fellow neighbors and volunteers have already been hard at work helping us collect and assemble baskets of food that we’ll distribute to 300 families to ensure they have a bountiful Thanksgiving this year. If you want to stop by with any last-minute donations, we’ll still be accepting them through the end of the day tomorrow, Tuesday, November 14!

If you might have missed your chance to help with Thanksgiving, fret not, there are plenty of other ways that you can get involved between now and the new year, including donating new toys for local children, sponsoring a family, volunteering to deliver or wrap gifts, or supporting the Good Karma Holiday program with a donation!

Volunteers helping wrap gifts during the 2022 Holiday season.

Donate any day, any time!

We are always immensely grateful for the inventory we can collect thanks to our generous pool of donors, and we’re always looking for ways in which we can make the process easier and more accessible.

That’s why we’re so thrilled to be partnering with another local nonprofit, Goods Recycling, who recently stopped by and installed donation bins at our Center for Community Service! Donors giving smaller items now have a no-hassle dropoff option day or night, 24/7!

Our new donation bins from Goods Recycling

Donations given through Good Recycling are an especially critical line of support for our professional clothing program as we explore expanding what we can offer clients, and in the winter months when items like coats, shoes, and cold-weather gear are in high demand.

Guests of Neighbor to Neighbor Day help with professional clothing donations.

One of our dressing rooms for professional clothing clients.

If you have a business and want to help make supporting our work more accessible, you can also host one of our bins at your building! Email janet@awidercircle.org for more information.

Working with MD Labor Secretary Wu to strengthen career support for the community!

Last week, Maryland Secretary of Labor, Portia Wu, joined us for a tour of our Center for Community Service. A Montgomery County native, Secretary Wu, was keenly interested in the work A Wider Circle does to uplift our neighbors and help support them to create a healthy career path.

Secretary Wu (front, right), other local officials, and members of A Wider Circles Staff discuss our work.

Reflecting on the visit, A Wider Circle’s Director of Career Support, Adam Albanese, shared: “It was inspiring to speak with the Secretary and her dynamic team about what the Department of Labor is focused on, and how our work both aligns with their goals and complements the wonderful work they are doing. We are also honored to be participating in Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness starting in January!”

President & CEO of A Wider Circle Amy Javaid leads Secretary Wu and others on a tour of our Center for Community Service.

Throughout the visit, the group explored how we can work closer with the Department of Labor and ways we can adjust our model to better serve our community.

The group pauses for discussion and questions in our showroom.

If you or someone you know may benefit from discussing career aspirations, seeking help with resume building, or getting help deciding on the next step in their professional journey, our Career Support team is available and excited to help. Reach out at 301-608-3504 and ask for Career Support, or email at careersupport@awidercircle.org

Join us on Wednesday for a seminar on planned giving!

This Wednesday, November 15 from 12:00-1:00 pm, we are hosting a seminar on planned giving on Zoom.

The session will provide an overview of how you can consider adding A Wider Circle to your estate plans. Included in the discussion will be strategies that can help you maximize your charitable contributions and ensure that your estate is set up for both you and your family.

You can join the seminar via this link. Please contact us to RSVP or with any questions.

Rounding out the circle

Upcoming events in the community:

Ways to get involved:

There are plenty of ways you can support the work of A Wider Circle right now!

Staff Recommendations:

This week’s recommendation comes to us from our Chief Program Officer, Eddy Ameen. Eddy shares the 2001 Book Nickel and Dimed by Barbra Ehrenreich, a compelling investigation into the life of low-wage workers as they struggle to make income match expenses. The stories heard from many neighbors who seek help from A Wider Circle are not too dissimilar to the stories of the book.

Furniture Finds:

This colorful custom-painted dresser would be a perfect fit for any kid’s room!

A colorful dresser spotted in our showroom!

That’s all for this week’s edition of A Wider Community! See you next week!

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