By Theo Blair

Howdy, neighbor! Fall is in full effect, and the start of the holiday season is just days away! While we have a short week ahead of us as our team takes some well-deserved time to relax for the holiday weekend, we’ve still got plenty to share in this week’s edition, including:

If you’ll lend an ear, there’s news to hear from across our community far and near — let’s get rolling!

Our 2023 Holiday Giving Guide is live!

Searching for that perfect gift? This holiday season, give the gift of community by making a donation on a loved one’s behalf via A Wider Circle’s 2023 Holiday Giving Guide!

Choose from options like stocking our Ward 8 Hub’s food pantry, outfitting a job seeker, or even furnishing a home! No matter which option you choose, your gift will have a major impact for those we serve, especially in these challenging economic times.

After purchasing your gift, we’ll send you a card detailing the impact of your donation for you to present to your recipient. Shop the giving guide here!

Essential Support works to widen our circle!

Earlier this month members of our Essential Support team joined with members of like-minded organizations across our regions to present as members of the “Community-Based Organization’s Programs and Services to Support Students and Families Experiencing Homelessness panel presentation for Homeless Awareness Month.

A Wider Circle joined Housing Counseling Services, Inc. & The Wanda Alston Foundation to share information on how each organization was seeking to address the issues of homelessness, poverty, and inequality in our region.

Patrice, Allie, & Sharon from AWC’s Essential Support team with members of fellow local organizations at the event.

The presentation was organized by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education as part of their Homelessness Awareness Month program. The OSSE offers a list of resources to those facing homelessness here as well as a list of resources focused on ensuring access to education resources here.

For more information on the work of our organization as well as the work of the organizations we joined with for the presentation check it out here!

Assistance from all around our community this holiday season!

As the holiday season approaches, organizations and individuals all across our region are finding ways to share love, and we want to spotlight just a few of those stories here today!

At A Wider Circle, we often say that anyone can help us serve, from ages 3 to 103! We saw further proof of this last week as we were introduced to Elmer, a 94-year-old retiree who has been repairing furniture in his spare time to donate to our cause!

Thanks to the generosity of a local church that helped create a workshop space in the basement of Elmer’s apartment building, he continues to find ways to give back to his community every day!

Elmer poses with one of the end tables he is currently working on.

Workplace drives are another excellent way to give back while also connecting with coworkers in support of a common cause. We’re always grateful for the support of companies and organizations who help us show compassion and kindness to our neighbors across the region!

The Montgomery County Planning Department stopped by earlier this month with a box filled with all the essentials for a Thanksgiving feast, as well as gift cards to help families purchase perishable items!

AWC’s Director of Operations, Chanel (left), with a representative of the Montgomery County Planning Department who stopped by with a donation for our Thanksgiving drive.

Another company that has helped us make our Thanksgiving Drive possible year after year is the team at Compass Real Estate, who assembled the lovely baskets pictured below!

The team delivered these baskets to our Center for Community Service earlier this month, and many have already found their way into the homes of neighbors across our region just in time for the holiday!

Members of the DMV Compass Real Estate team assembling Thanksgiving Baskets.
Image Credit: Maryam Redjaee

Giving comes in many forms this holiday season, and our friends at The Station at Riverdale Park are helping by hosting a donation bin from our partners at Goods Recycling! By collecting critical need items such as coats, professional clothing, shoes, and more, they’ll be ensuring that these items don’t end up in a landfill.

A clothing donation box hosted by The Station at Riverdale Park through our partners at Goods Recycling.
Image Credit: The Station

Click here to learn how you can support our Good Karma Holiday Program this season!

If you need assistance this holiday season, check out our holiday resource guide here.

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 from Development Associate, Doria Mounombi! Doria shared Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

“Evicted” not only exposes the harsh realities of poverty and eviction but also advocates for compassion, equity, and systemic change. Through compelling storytelling and in-depth research, Matthew Desmond encourages readers to confront the challenges faced by marginalized communities and inspires a collective effort toward a more just and compassionate society.

Furniture Finds:

The neighbors who claimed this navy chair weren’t feeling blue when they took it home!

This big blue chair and the accompanying footrest will bring a brilliant splash of color to its new owner’s space!

That’s all for this week’s edition of A Wider Community! We wish all a safe, warm, and welcoming Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you next week!

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