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World Changers: Giva Salutes "A Wider Circle"

At Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.

A Wider Circle

Perhaps no image is as emblematic of poverty as the empty unfurnished house. It is difficult to achieve a stable and independent lifestyle when one is deprived of the comfort and necessities of a home. Mark Bergel founded A Wider Circle after observing the number of unfurnished homes in poorer areas of Washington D.C. He vowed to sleep on his own couch until every family in America had a bed to fall asleep on. It is this unwavering commitment that has led to his nomination as a 2014 CNN hero and propelled his organization to a level of national recognition. A Wider Circle now operates two warehouses that stock furniture freely available to families lacking basic supplies. It also runs a series of life skills workshops designed to empower people with knowledge. By providing families with this level of personal attention and support, A Wider Circle has helped thousands of people feel more at home.

The organization's signature program is its Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiative. The program provides furniture free of charge to families emerging from challenging circumstances. Beds, dressers, tables, chairs, and dishes are some of the items available to these families. Each year, A Wider Circle furnishes more than 4,000 family homes and refuses to turn any family down in need. Amongst the myriad of challenges present in the modern world, it is sometimes lost how empowering simple acts can be. Providing a desk to a young child can at times be just as influential as improving parts of the local public school. The work of A Wider Circle is evidence of this power.

Propelled by its early success A Wider Circle now offers additional programs in job preparedness, life-skills, and parental training. Recognizing that the only sustainable way to emerge from poverty is through a steady job, A Wider Circle offers classes in resume writing, interview skills, and job selection. It also offers a wide array of professional attire and accessories.

The organization also hosts a Well Mother, Well Baby program that aims to help teenage mothers succeed despite some challenging circumstances. The program ensures mothers have a healthy pregnancy, provides them with necessities like cribs and diapers, and matches each of them with a mentor who continues to support them through the early years of motherhood. These actions are one more way the organization works to ensure a comfortable home environment.

A Wider Circle provides thousands of people with the resources to construct a better home. It deserves immense credit for addressing complex challenges in effective ways. In the process of creating better homes it is truly creating better lives.

To learn more about A Wider Circle or to donate money visit: http://awidercircle.org/