Reducing Poverty One Family at a Time!
Thoughts About Being a volunteer with Adrienne
"I first met Adrienne before the Support Circles Program was initiated and brought to Adams County. She was employed at SCCAP as the secretary of the previous Director, Jean Odom...and because I had a number of projects that involved Jean or her expertise, I looked to Adrienne to secure a meeting time for me with Jean. Not unlike Megan, Jean was one very busy person and Adrienne was essential to me in getting in to meet with her...
We saw more of each other after the Support Circles Program began...there was an affection that grew naturally between us...she was one year ahead of my daughter's class at Gettysburg High School, her father is a valued employee at our family business.. we had common ground on which to stand. In learning how to build relationships across class lines - a foundation of the Support Circles model for success, it was comforting I think for both of us to have those shared places between us.
All of that was just the beginning... an introduction to what has become an exceptionally rewarding friendship. When Adrienne met for the first time with her new Support Circle allies, myself among them, I remember distinctly her stated goals. She wanted to own her own home and she wanted to be free of debt. I can confess that both of those goals seemed a little "pie-in-the-sky" to me but because I truthfully knew so little about how Support Circles really worked, but I was willing to suspend my doubts and with an almost blind faith...just "go with the flow".
The conversation that I recall that had the most impact on me, and moved me to a deeper understanding of what life was really like for someone in her income bracket, was the one about food. Many of you have heard that story, so I will not belabor it but the bottom line for me was that I was literally shocked to learn that at the end of the month, Adrienne had no food in her house to feed her 3 children. Once she had paid all the bills, bought and eaten all the food for that month... there were still several days before the next pay check when there was nothing to eat! This was a woman who had a full time job! There was something about the matter of fact delivery of that information, the "everydayness" of it that moved me to a different level of understanding about poverty and all the havoc it wrecks in the lives of families every day. I am so grateful to Adrienne for having the graciousness and abiding affection for me to have allowed me to learn something so fundamental about poverty without ever making me feel like an idiot.
Which brings me to the second gift I have received from Support Circles and from Adrienne... the first being a whole new level of knowledge and understanding about the lives of those living below the poverty line. The second is that I have been given the opportunity to become friends with and to feel such affection and respect for people I would never have met in any other possible circumstance which has enriched my life immeasurably...
Thank you, Adrienne, for teaching me so much about perseverance, about risk taking and accomplishment but most memorably, thank you for your friendship...which, even without Support Circles, I know will continue."