newspaper

CircleWorks - We Threw A Party!

Thursday, June 23, 2016 | bwgc

Maria Broom leads participants in song and dance

The second BWGC CircleWorks volunteer day took place on April 16.  On a beautiful sunny spring day, we held a party for the children who participate in the CHIP program of our grantee Alternative Directions. These children, ages 6 to 14, have parents who are incarcerated and CHIP provides them with mentors and a variety of activities. Our party, with the theme of "Power in the Heart," was their April activity.

Close to 40 Circle members participated in various ways, including making arrangements for Maria Broom, Baltimore's beloved dancer/storyteller/author, to entertain the children and discuss her book The Village Bully. Her message to the children was perfectly attuned to our theme. Our volunteers also provided a magician who made balloon animals and balloon jewelry (really!); we made delicious snacks; and we developed an art project for the children to produce. The children all received a copy of Maria's book, thanks to the Children's Bookstore Foundation, and went home with goody bags and other favors.

Thanks to everyone who made the day a success for this sometimes-forgotten population, and an extra shout goes out to Georgia King, Chris Walker, Beth Lebow, Sherry Billig, Ann Fisher and Nanny Warren who spearheaded the different committees.

The first two events of CircleWorks were a pilot to see how we could incorporate it into our other activities. In May last year we planted flowers in the outdoor spaces of Healthcare for the Homeless downtown, followed by a tour of the facility, lunch with clients, and a presentation by clients and advocates. Both this year and last members had fun and were enriched in each setting. Since the membership has been enthusiastic and the needs in our community are great, we hope to make CircleWorks a continuing program.

CircleWorks Co-chairs Pam Corckran and Anne Donahue will present the committee's recommendations on the future of its structure and programming to the Steering Committee. Look for more news about this endeavor in the months to come.