Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

Receiving – Greater than Giving

Posted by frankieblackburn on August 4, 2009

Tonight was the third of three gatherings in the home of Mary Murphy, a long time member of the IMPACT network. When she heard about the Neighbors Campaign and our idea for local giving circles to support the effort, she decided to use this moment to re-engage the mothers of her third son’s friends. She organized a giving/neighbor circle of about 12 women and invited them three times into her home between February and July 2009.

I happen to be one of these mothers and loved the opportunity to better connect my worlds too. We ate, laughed about our kids, swapped ideas for managing teenagers and talked about IMPACT and our effort to build similar circles in a variety of Silver Spring neighborhoods.   The group raised over $1,300 for the campaign!!!  Thank you to all who made an investment in building stronger neighborhoods!

But, perhaps an even greater accomplishment was the powerful conversation we held on the last night – the smallest group of the three sessions.  One of the original moms who has been unemployed and looking for work during the whole time the circle has gathered, took a risk and shared how similar this circle feels – and the Neighbors Campaign – to a support group she attends as she continues searching for a job.  She talked about how people come into this setting looking for help, but in this moment of vulnerability, begin revealing other things that interest them and how this process leads to people making all kinds of personal connections, well beyond their original goal around employment.  We reflected on how important it is to feel this sense of connection, contribution and receipt of our personal gifts by others, especially in a time of crisis and great challenge. Listen to the brief comments by those who attended:

Mary Murphy's Neighbors Circle

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