November 2018 Newsletter


We want to share insight into our first Circles cohort by introducing you to Angie. A mom, Richmonder, and the epitome of what it means to be a Circle Leader, Angie is not only pursuing a better future for herself and her family, but she is caring deeply for her larger community and is active in various ways to make a greater impact. Recently, Angie organized a clothing giveaway and has begun a weekly art workshop for kids at the Bellemeade Community Center. For the clothing giveaway, she collected new and gently used clothes and shoes from her friends and family, called around to find a space to host the giveaway, and put out flyers and posted on social media. When I asked her why she put this together, Angie says, “I love to see people looking good & feeling good about themselves. I was bullied in school so I know how it feels to go to school and be teased for not having on the right “clothes.” So, what is that when we come to school to learn anyways, so I just was thinking why not help people who may be less fortunate then us or as fortunate as us because as long as you’re groomed well & presentable you will feel good about yourself which makes you wanna hold your head high and be willing and eager to learn or accomplish anything. Also, you feel good when you look good.”

The event was a success with almost all the clothing given away. And Angie was able to develop a continuing relationship with the Bellmeade Community Center when she asked if she could host a paint party for the children in her community and continue with weekly art workshops. She says, “I always have loved kids and they tend to flock to me and when I had kids of my own, I experienced the most beautiful love that words can’t even explain so I want every child to feel the love we share. I also like to see kids happy, having fun, expressing themselves in ways that doesn’t consist of violence. I know through arts they can find an outlet to whatever they may need to let out and I believe it enhances brain activity, and I’ve always wanted to show people how to express themselves without being violent. Because most communities I live in or near are low income and high-risk crime area and I feel if we get them while they’re young and introduce them to other things besides what they’re used to seeing like crime, drugs, fights, etc. and teach them a trade/skill—arts, music, dance wordplay etc., they will think outside the norm and show a better way of living.”

It is a delight to be in the room each week with Angie and the rest of our first cohort of Circle Leaders, learning, building relationships, and growing together in knowledge and skills. Halfway through their training, we’ve learned of so many ways this cohort has already impacted their community. We’re excited to see what the future holds.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we want to take this opportunity to thank all of the wonderful volunteers at CirclesRVA. We couldn’t do what we do without you!




Date & Time: November 13th at 7pm
Location: Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church,
8 North Laurel St.
Richmond VA 23220

Our first cohort of Circle Leaders at Circles RVA are completing their training this coming week. We invite you to join us in recognizing each Leader and hearing about their goals and visions for the future!



Date: Wednesday, December 5 (note date change)
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Good Shepherd Baptist Church
1127 N. 28th St.
Richmond, VA 23223

Register Here

What is a Poverty Simulation?

During a poverty simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families ranging from single parents caring for their children to senior citizens maintaining their self-sufficiency on Social Security.

Why conduct a Poverty Simulation?

Poverty is a reality for many individuals and families. Experiencing poverty, even in a simulation, helps us to understand the daily struggles those in poverty live with. The goal of the simulation is to bridge the gap from misconception to understanding. It is an interactive immersion experience to sensitizes community participants to the realities of poverty.

More information available here.