Day Center of Sarah's Circle

I’ve had a lot of lucky breaks over the years, as well as the good fortune of a lot of support. This year I wanted to give back to a community of women who have met some bad circumstances and are striving to make their lives better through a qualified support network.

Sarah’s Circle, an organization in Uptown, helps over 900 women a year who are affected by homelessness. They “encourage women to empower themselves by rebuilding both emotionally and physically, realizing their unique potential as a woman.” Sarah’s Circle offers daytime activities, two meals daily, showers, laundry supplies, internet access and social support. They also provide interim housing with a goal to get women to permanent housing.

Cook at Sarah's Circle

Lee, the cook for Sarah’s Circle, serves two meals daily—and lots of smiles.

In working with Sarah’s Circle Director of Development, I came to understand compelling information that led me to focus on their employment services program. About half of their clients are looking for jobs. What they seek in their job search is what everyone wants in a job: to be treated decently and respected. To get paid time off. To work close to home, and to receive healthcare. And, with support and encouragement, those searching for work are more successful in finding jobs, and many gain enough income to again achieve permanent housing. I felt that offering guidance on navigating job search would be a great way to offer help. In my own work, I’ve learned a lot about networking, job search and career satisfaction. I’ve taught a college course on “marketing yourself.”

Case worker at Sarah's Circle

Case worker Leah greets clients and visitors on Halloween.

For the contribution of my time, I’ve decided to take my knowledge in this area to build a job search resource kit for the women of Sarah’s Circle. It will include self-assessment, guidance on resume, interview and networking preparation, and a list of online sources for locating job opportunities. In January, I will host a training session on the use of the materials to help interested clients of Sarah’s Circle. And importantly, I will suggest that the women create a buddy system for their job explorations. Support and feedback being a key ingredient in successful job search.

For the contribution of my dollars, I will donate the generous $500 that Michael provides each of us and match it. Sarah’s Circle will use this money to create a transportation fund for the women seeking jobs.

I recommend you check out Sarah’s Circle. And take a look at their video on Giving Thanks on Giving Tuesday to meet the team who makes it all possible.