Letter to the Editor (February 10, 2016)

Circles is making a huge difference

I have a passion for building community because I believe we as a community are only as strong as our weakest link. As long as some are not able to pay their rent or buy food for their children, our community is at risk.

I have been a pastor for 23 years and many people have dropped in to ask for money for groceries, gas for their car and help with their utilities. I always wondered whether my $50 was really helping them. It just seemed that we should be getting to the root of the problem so that they could pay these bills on their own next month.

I found out about a program that does just that?getting to the root of the problems people face. It was Circles. I read about it in an article in the local newspaper published about a match between a middle-income person and a low-income person. They helped each other out and up.

I was so excited about this I began to attend the Circles meeting at the Presbyterian Church in Marion. They were meeting every Thurs?day for supper and meetings. I soon learned to know other people who were concerned about poverty. It has been three years now that I have participated in Circles.

I became an ally to have this personal experience of coaching and cheering someone on as they began to break out of the chains of poverty. Cynthia and I have become close friends as we worked together to apply for scholarships to go to school, as she passed tests, and got her CNA job.

I learned from her how complicated life can be when faced with poverty. Life is fragile and can spin out of control with one little mishap. I want to be there to cheer her on and remind her of all the resources she does have. She is one brave, competent and strong woman.

I am so thankful that Marion County has a Circles organization that connects different income classes together. I am proud to be a part of building a better place for families to thrive. I am thrilled to have a part in people crossing the bridge out of poverty into middle class. The more that cross that bridge the stronger and better our community will be.

I hope others will join in this work. I hope those trapped in poverty will join Circles to learn to know what needs to be done to get out?to become a leader.

I hope those with adequate incomes will join Circles as an ally?to coach and cheer and support those who want to be free of financial worries.

I hope those with a heart for this community will contribute financially to keep this organization thriving.

Call 620-877-0899 to become involved and send contributions to Circles, 415 S. Main St., Hillsboro, KS 67063.

Norma Duerksen

Marion

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