Circles Honors Volunteer Month: All-Star Volunteers, Pt. 1

A Circles USA chapter supports many volunteers who are the hands and feet of our organization: they give of their time generously by providing intentional friendships, meals, childcare, administrative support, resources, and connections by serving on a Resource Team, becoming an Ally, or offering up any other creative capacity the chapters could use. Our Circles volunteers are essential as we are building community to end poverty.

This national Volunteer Month, Circles is proud to recognize the outstanding contributions of our thoughtful and dedicated volunteers by sharing testimonials from their peers. Whether in response to our call for Outstanding Volunteer nominations or just giving a little shine on social media, our network didn’t hesitate to sing their volunteers’ praises! 

Here, in nominators’ own words, are a few of the bright stars who make up our CUSA volunteer community of practice.

Amanda Ott (Bridges Alliance of Johnson County, IN)
Nominated by Jillian Pierce, Bridges Alliance Circles Coach

“Circles Johnson County and our sponsor organization, Bridges Alliance of Johnson County, have been incredibly fortunate to have had a phenomenal Marketing and Social Media coordinator in Amanda for the last 6 years. Amanda joined the team to “help organize a spreadsheet,” and countless newsletters, social media posts, brochures designed, and events promoted later, she is stepping out of this role. She really has personified what passion and professionalism looks like in a volunteer, and we are having a hard time imagining life without her! The good news is that Amanda will be staying on as a member of the Circles Big View Team, so we will still benefit from her gifts and expertise!”

Sidney Bruner (Circles Salt Lake, UT)
Nominated by Kelli Parker, Circles Salt Lake Coordinator

“We are incredibly thankful to our Children’s Program Volunteer, Sidney, for nominating Circles Salt Lake to the Baker Tilly Foundation. The Baker Tilly Foundation awards 15 nonprofit organizations that are nominated by their team members to receive a $10,000 grant. There were more than 200 nominations by employees, and Circles Salt Lake was one of the 15 selected! Thank you to Sidney for being so thoughtful and nominating us, but most importantly, thank you for the impact you are making in our community and for promoting the work that is being done. Below is the heartfelt message that Sidney shared in nominating Circles Salt Lake.”

When I first moved to Salt Lake City, I sought a way to give back to the community. I decided to start volunteering with Circles because I believe in its mission of empowering people to break the cycle of poverty and create a better future for themselves and their families. What didn’t I expect? I wouldn’t just be giving back to the Salt Lake community, but I would be welcomed into a new community with open arms.

I join the Circles Salt Lake community every Thursday for dinner and a training session. I work with the children of the participants, who are also learning valuable skills and habits to succeed in life. The younger children play games and do crafts, while the older ones follow a curriculum that teaches them about goal setting, communication, and other topics. I enjoy spending time with the kids and seeing them grow and learn. I also appreciate the opportunity to connect with the parents and the other volunteers, who share their stories and experiences with me.

Volunteering at Circles has been a rewarding and meaningful experience for me. It has allowed me to live out the Baker Tilly value of stewardship in a city without a Baker Tilly office and create connections with people from various backgrounds. I am proud to be part of this organization and to help people achieve their dreams.

Lori and Mitch Phillips | Circles Cobb, GA
Nominated by Barbara Garner, Circles Cobb Executive Director

“Circles Cobb would like to highlight one of our champion volunteers, Lori Phillips. When Lori learned about Circles, our mission, and the incredible impact that this organization has across North America—she jumped in with both feet! Lori joined Circles as a board member (she is now our board secretary) and an Ally. Lori’s husband, Mitch, wanted to jump in as well! In addition to pulling double-duty as a board member and Ally, Lori brings pastries from Honeysuckle Biscuits and Bakery (the restaurant that she and Mitch own) to our monthly board meetings, and still finds time to join Barbara (Circles Cobb ED) at occasional speaking engagements. Lori is a servant-leader, always ready to help in any way she can. Thank you, Lori (and Mitch), for all you do to further Circles’ mission and for giving your time, treasure, and talent to end poverty in our community.”

Watch outstanding Circles volunteers at work in
their home chapter in our recently released
Weekly Meeting Virtual Tour Video.

Click the donate to Circles USA button and help us celebrate 25 years of
extraordinary volunteers building community to end poverty!