Circles RVA offers a long term approach to reaching economic stability. Each week, local families that are ready willing and able to thrive (Circle Leaders) meet with community volunteers (Allies). During these meetings Circles Leaders gain from relevant programming and work on their goals toward economic stability. Over time, incomes improve, debt and public assistance decrease, and supportive relationships are built. The Leader/Ally relationship is the crux of the Circles model. However, with the help of additional dedicated volunteers, Circles RVA is able to enhance weekly meetings by offering a meal, children’s programming and skilled support.
Volunteer as an Ally
Volunteer Allies build an intentional friendship with a Circle Leader to support the Leader in his/her journey to meet goals to achieve economic stability. Allies offer a listening ear and respect the role of the Circle Leader as the driver of this process.
“It has been amazing [with my Circles Leader] to see her resiliency and her determination to achieve her goals. I think I have learned as much and gotten as much out of it as I hope she has.”
The role of a volunteer Ally is to :
- Be an intentional friend and accountability partner
- Offer emotional support when needed
- Help the Circle Leader evaluate and clarify goals, develop manageable steps
- Share life experiences and, if asked, give advice
Allies commit to:
- Complete 8 sessions of Ally training (Tuesday evenings)
- Attend at least two Circles meetings each month throughout your 18-month commitment to a Circle Leader
- Spend 4-6 hours a month communicating with their Circle Leader outside Tuesday meetings
Circles RVA supports Allies with:
- Orientation sessions and Ally training
- Availability of a Circles Coach, a trained professional
- Collaboration with other Allies, Leaders and volunteers
Additional Volunteer Opportunities
Donate or prepare a meal for Circles Leaders and their families. This is a great opportunity for a community group such as a church or civic organization. *During the current pandemic, meals are being delivered to families in coordination with virtual programming.
Serve the children of Circle Leaders by assisting with learning activities that build meaningful relationships and teach life skills. *During the current pandemic, children’s programming is taking the form of e-mentoring.
Join a behind the scenes volunteer team where you can share specific skills/knowledge with Circle Leaders. Areas of assistance often needed include resume or business plan development, making an application for a mortgage or a loan, legal or financial advice, or simply a contact in an agency or organization.
“There’s compulsory volunteering and then there’s something that you want to do…… You meet people in a formal capacity but as friendships arise you find out exciting things…… This is the type of community I get to come to each week. It’s pretty great!”