By Theo Blair

Falling into your feed just in time to start your week and kick off the new season, it’s the latest edition of A Wider Community!

This week, we’ve got a double stuffed edition to catch you up on some of the awesome work that’s been happening in and around A Wider Circle, including:

So pick up that pumpkin spice latte and settle in for some stories from around our community!

An Insider Look At Our Story On Inside Edition

Inside Edition started its 36th season earlier this month by coming down to DC to share the story of one of the many schools we helped during our 2023 school supply drive! Their crew joined our team to stop by Sunshine Early Learning Center while we brought the young students a surprise delivery of fully-stocked backpacks!

Inside Edition’s Crew filming while teachers helped their students settle in for the big surprise!

Dozens of volunteers from our community helped assemble over 100 backpacks filled with supplies. All of the backpacks and supplies were generously donated by neighbors like you, and will ensure that each student has the tools they need for a headstart on the 2023-2024 school year!

Students and teachers cheering as the backpacks are being wheeled out!

Because of the volunteers and donors who participated in our 2023 School Supply Drive, we were able to fill and distribute over 800 backpacks in total to students across our region this year! Thank you to all who helped make that possible, and our thanks to Inside Edition for joining us to share this heartwarming story!

You can check out the segment here, and see Inside Edition Host Deborah Norville speak about the giveaway with the local anchors at WUSA9 here!

AWC At Mayor Bowser’s Maternal Health Summit

Last week, members of our team attended the sixth annual National Maternal and Infant Health Summit, hosted by Mayor Bowser and the Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives. The summit is centered around creating a space for mothers to learn from each other and share stories, discover resources in their community, and promote family-friendly policies in the workplace.

Working women and equitable workplace policies for expectant mothers were the central themes for this year’s summit, which fostered insightful discussions about motherhood and returning to the workforce. Some of those conversations included speakers such as Rep. Ilhan Omar and Tiffany Haddish!

A Wider Circle Team Members Parisa R. (Left), Regina R. (Center) And Cherie M. (Right) tabling together at the event.

We were incredibly grateful to be able to share the resources we can offer to mothers and families in the DC region, including programming at our Ward 8 Hub and appointments for baby items that we host at our Center for Community Service in Silver Spring.

A Wider Circle Team Members Parisa R. (Left), and Daryle M. (Right) discussing programming we offer with attendees of the summit.

Perhaps Mayor Bowser put it best when she shared, “No matter how your family comes together, or how young or old your children are, it takes a village to keep families healthy, happy, and safe.” We’re honored to have been invited to this circle of support for mothers and families in our region at this year’s summit, and we continue to work to honor that commitment every day!

If you are or know a mother in need of support, contact Mayor Bowser’s resource line at 1-800-MOM-BABY or learn more about the services we offer here or by contacting us at 301-608-3504.

Memories From An Evening Most Eventful

A season of celebration is just around the corner! From Halloween to New Year’s Eve and everything in between, we’re entering a time of the year when camaraderie is in high supply! Last weekend, members of our staff were thrilled to kick that season off a little early with our friends at the HR Source’s fundraiser to support our work and the work of The UMD Capital Region Health Foundation, A Bridgerton Affair!

A Wider Circle Staff Members Sonja (Left), Chris (Center), and Regina (Right) joined in on the festivities!

Live music provided by the Strings of Christ

The evening was an unforgettable affair with elegant attire, excellent food from Chef Katrell, evocative instrumentals from the Strings of Christ, a dash of intrigue provided by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, and even a Queen of the evening, Jacquelynn “Jaci” Williamson!

Queen Jacquelynn Williamson and her beloved dog overseeing the night’s jubilation

Our thanks once again to the HR Source for hosting this event to benefit our work!

Thanks To Those Who Help Build A Wider Circle

This month members of our Employee Recognition Committee launched a new way to say thanks to staff for they do, our Circle Of Appreciation!

Each month, team members can submit “shoutouts” for their teammates, to be featured in our internal newsletter. From those shoutouts, the Committee picks two staff members who have best exemplified our circle of values and honor them with the Compassionate Neighbor Award!

A Wider Circle’s Circle of Values, conceptualized for our 2023 strategic planning process

Our first two honorees are two amazing team members, Taha & Daryle! Along with the award, they also received gift cards and a well-deserved round of applause for all the work they do to foster a more inclusive and equitable community for all our neighbors!

If you visit our Center for Community Service in Silver Spring be sure to keep an eye out for their images and those of future honorees in our lobby!

The first recipients of the Compassionate Neighbor Award, Daryle & Taha.

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, Lara Gagrica, A Wider Circle’s Government Relations Manager, shared More Perfect. From WNYC Studios, More Perfect tells stories of the highest court in the land past and present. Originally Airing from 2016-2018, the show ran for three seasons. However, in June of 2023, the show returned with a new host, Julia Longoria.

Lara shared that the podcast provides interesting insights on cases that impact the lives of all who live in the US. If you are a politics or history buff and like to spend your downtime learning about things like Supreme Court cases– this podcast is for you!

Furniture Finds:

While spring is a thing long forgotten and summertime is past its prime, this yellow chair with floral flair is a timeless treasure sure to tether any room together!

A lovely and lively armchair spotted in our showroom

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

P.S.: If you’d like to join us next Thursday for Neighbor to Neighbor Night, there’s still time to purchase tickets, a table, or a sponsorship!

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