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Wilkes "Circles" Seek to Impact Poverty PDF Print
Written by Mary Leigh Lucas   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 13:05

This past weekend, CBS aired a story in Springfield, OH to follow their local community campaign to show how building strong relationships across class and cultural lines can, in fact, impact poverty.  I have included a link to that video from the October 22, 2011 CBS Evening News below.

As I mentioned, a similar initiative is going on right here in Wilkes County whereby community members are coming together to build relationships and help low-income individuals achieve economic stability.

We believe that this is story worth sharing and would love the opportunity to share more with you as far as an overview of the Wilkes Circles of Care, and to provide local interviews with volunteers and families involved in this life changing initiative.

Attached is a press release and fact sheet with information about the CBS Story as well as Wilkes Circles of Care. 
CBS Evening News covered Circles® on its national news coverage, Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 6:30pm EST.  (Check local times or airtime in your area.) Circles® is a national campaign to end poverty.  There are more than 60 Circles® initiatives in 23 states and one province in Canada.  In North Carolina alone, there are 2,227,476 children being raised in poverty1. The estimated economic fallout of raising children in poverty for our state is $72.1B a year2.  In Wilkes County, the child poverty rate is 13.2% and in North Wilkesboro, that rate is higher – 24.9% with 251 children living in poverty in 20093.  That’s why Wilkes Circles of Care is so important.      
78M Baby Boomers are poised to leave the US workforce in the next 2 decades.  Federal government cuts could eliminate hundreds of thousands of “economic-base” jobs that support both the service sector jobs and the funds to provide for dependents that are either too old or too young to work.  We cannot afford to allow the next generation (which is a smaller group than the baby boomers) to be raised in poverty and drop out of school.  For the first time in 50 years, eradicating poverty is no longer just a humanitarian effort; it is also an economic survival strategy.
Average Citizens are Ready to Help Out

Circles® can provide an unlimited new capacity that results in a safe and effective way to combine the best informal support from middle and upper income citizens with the formal supports of city and state-funded services.  Circles® has been modified to support people in housing initiatives, leaving welfare, completing post secondary work, getting and maintaining a job, starting businesses, improving health, leaving prison, recovering from addictions, and overcoming generational poverty.
Our vision is to see resources being directed to high-impact strategies that support students in graduating, having an entrepreneurial mindset, being savvy about money, and creating enough economic base jobs to support our community’s future. 
More information, you may contact Jane Cox with the NC Circles® Initiative at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (919=234-7281).  You may also contact Susan Whittington, Board Chairperson of Wilkes Circles of Care at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (336-469-8207) or Derek Krause, Wilkes Circles Coordinator and Community Organizer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (336-262-7704).

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