The following are a few stories about how our compassion teams have been in action over the past year.
Circle Kids opened its doors as a morning Playschool in November 2017. Our Director, Gail Szczesniak, has gotten to know some neighborhood families and 12 children have been enrolled. 25 children attended a “school aged” camp in summer 2018. Circle of Hope recently got their Certificate of Occupancy and Circle Kids was granted their day care zoning variance; both documents were needed for the DHS application packet to apply for full day child care! If you would like to be part of the Circle Kids Support Team, email [email protected]
Since its inception, Circle Mobilizing because Black Lives Matter has raised over $15,000 to go to the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund to help contribute its freeing of 100 people from prisons. This the team also read Rethinking Incarceration and hosted the author Dominique DuBois Gilliard at our Frankford Avenue space. The team also started a weekly meeting (Participatory Defense Hub) helping people navigate the racist criminal justice system. We’ve had a busy and successful year.
In 2018, Circle Thrift was able to give $120K to MCC (Mennonite Central Committee), $30,657 to local organizations, $21,081 to Circle of Hope compassion work, and $80,000 to Circle of Hope church planting efforts!
Free Baby and Kids Goods eXchange is a free opportunity to swap used (or unused!) baby and kids clothes, toys, baby gear, books, and maternity clothes with other families in the community. People can pick up what their child(ren) need and pass along what’s no longer needed. Circle of Hope rotates hosting these swaps at one of our congregations each month. In 2018, we shared a plethora of goods with approximately 1,600 people! Check out www.facebook.com/freebgx for more info!
The Friends of Hagert Street Playground has spent many years supporting the Hagert Street Playground and advocating for a playground renovation. Because of proven neighbor support, the renovation was fully funded by the Philadelphia Water Department and City of Philadelphia. Ground was broken in fall of 2017 and the grand opening was Dec 8, 2018! If you want to be part of supporting this positive community space, email [email protected]
In 2018 the Good Business Oversight Team hired Martha Grace as Good Business Operations Manager. Circle Kids is ready to apply for certification now that 2212 S. Broad is out of bureaucracy hell. Circle Spaces had its most profitable month in November. Circle Thrift beat its income goals by tens of thousands of dollars!
The Urban Farm Team was successful in securing 6 of 9 plots that make up their garden from their GoFundMe fundraiser in 2018.