18 June 2014

A Wider Circle's Great Eight

This year in Silver Spring Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day (held every April) featured volunteers from A Wider Circle,* a local organization which furnishes homes, provides clothing and trains people for the workforce in the D.C. area.  Every year on Free Cone Day, Ben & Jerry’s give away free ice cream** and they host a charity who is allowed to fundraise in the store.***  Give the charity a few dollars and you get a key ring tag for 10% off on ice cream for the next twelve months.  In addition to the free ice cream.

So, really, one isn’t just scarfing down free ice cream, one is being a philanthropist

Anyway, this year was A Wider Circle’s opportunity and the nice volunteers handed out information on the organization and how to help.  I still have the bookmark they gave me with “The Great Eight” on it.  If you are looking for a quick shopping list of “things to buy but not for me” and have donated enough boxes of pasta and cans of veggies for a while, they suggest:

1.  Tissues and toilet paper
2.  Laundry detergent
3.  Whole grain pasta****
4.  Low-sodium beans
5.  Paper towels and cleaning supplies
6.  Cereal and oatmeal
7.  Diapers
8.  Low-sodium, low-sugar canned fruits and vegetables.

I take food with me for the food bank every time I go to church and every so often the shelter gets some of my beloved hotel toiletries.  I’ll probably go to the store this weekend and pick up some paper goods for donation.   

*From their website:  “A Wider Circle’s efforts focus on the provision of basic need items, education, and long-term support. These three components work in concert to create lasting change in the lives of those we serve. A Wider Circle says no to nobody! Anyone in need of help can find it here. In addition to all of the individuals and families that call us, more than 300 government, social service, and nonprofit agencies regularly contact us for help in serving their clients.

Items can be dropped off 7 day a week, 365 days a year at our Center for Community Service: 9159 Brookville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910.”

**which is awesome

*** Last year it was the Washington Animal Rescue League, so … kittens!  And puppies!

**** Or gluten-free …

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