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By Rev. Donald A. Ford
Special to The PREVIEW
Circles is about relationships.
It is through relationships that a person truly experiences the freedom of not living in “poverty.” Allies surround Circle Leaders with support, much like friends provide for friends. The following is a testimonial from a Circle Leader who has taken the 12-week Circle Leader Training Course and continued in the Circles program for the past 18 months.
“It’s been close to eighteen months from the day we were referenced to Circles. I remember the two years, 2010 and 2011, and the hard struggle with work, money and the most important, family health. All of this involved the whole family. Kid’s don’t understand why there is no money, just what they want or need. In April, 2010, we finally decided to get help with our rent, bills, food and family issues like counseling. Besides the help that was offered, they told me about a different program at the time. I called them and when I talked to Karen (she was the original director for Circles) there was a strong feeling, like if God was calling me. Finally we decide to go. It was the only program where the whole family was able to go, parents and kids.
“As soon as we walked into the Circles meeting, everybody welcomed us like family. It was a feeling like our home. There was no difference from rich, middle class or poverty people. We went to a couple of meetings, then we start the first class. It’s a class where they teach you how to build your own pyramid from the bottom all the way up. That’s how we got into Circles.
“Now my whole life had a big change. We are so happy for the help, moral support, family support and the love support. It’s like our second home. I want to thank all the people who support Circles with their generous donations to make this happen. Thanks for all the support from the church, Pastor Don and all the other families who attend the meetings. There is so many things to say from my heart that they will not be able to fit on this page. Like the hearts of the people who make this program possible.
“Now my house is more stable, we are working and my daughter went to college thanks for all the support and the people to make this happen. My son is in sports in school. My house feels more love and we can’t wait for Thursday nights to meet at our second home where we always feel love.”
Circles is a national movement to help people in poverty to live in our middle class world. To do so, they must understand the lifestyle, life patterns and judgment calls that come from middle class folks.
At the same time, those in middle class who choose to help those in poverty need to understand those same things for the other class.
Circles is not a mentor program — Circles is a relationship program. It is for people who are motivated to reach higher than their generational class status. And it is for people who truly care about those who have less.
Circles will be starting new classes for both Circle Leaders and Allies. Call Jennifer Lindberg at the Methodist Thrift Store, 264-2572, or the Community United Methodist Church office at 264-5508 for details.