Sarah Holter | A Wider Circle

Seeing the ties between environmental science and poverty could be difficult but working with A Wider Circle I’ve been able to better understand the connections. This semester, for my Environmental Science 260 course, I have been working with CSLP. Though, initially, not planning on working with a non-profit focused on ending poverty I was surprised with how much the two overlapped. A Wider Circle fully furnished homes for families who cannot do so themselves — one catch: they throw nothing away. Waste is a major issue today as the earth is filling with it — items donated to A Wider Circle are cleaned and refurbished to like-new condition to give to families. By recycling beds, furniture, toys, clothing, etc. A Wider Circle is not only helping families start their lives with dignity and hope but also helping to lessen the strain of unnecessary waste on the planet.

Though I have not directly interacted with the people supported by A Wider Circle I have sorted through the items these people will receive. What is given to A Wider Circle, as I said before, is not thrown away if it does not meet the conditions outlined but re-purposed or given to other organizations that could use it. The mass amount of items donated to A Wider Circle is incredible and the fact that the items are constantly circulating is even more incredible. Through volunteering here I was better able to understand how much “stuff” there is but also how this “stuff” can be reused.

I feel fortunate that I have been privileged enough to never have to want for anything and through my time with A Wider Circle I have been able to put into perspective how this is so lucky. I have realized that by living the way I do I have created so much superfluous waste and have not treated it the same way those who donate to A Wider Circle have. I must make a change and actively work to cut back and continue to serve those who are lifting themselves out of poverty.

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