During these uncertain times, how can we help?

As the world leader in volunteerism we feel a responsibility to unite our broader community, and to use this moment to become stronger.

See below to access our COVID-19 Resource Hub, and to explore our growing directory of COVID-19-specific and virtual volunteering opportunities.
Read More

Empowerment Ally

Save to Favorites

Circles Grand Rapids

  • 12 people are interested

Like so many opportunities, our in-person program is paused until it's safe to return to in-person gatherings. Till then, we're meeting virtually with Circle Leaders every week.

As an Empowerment Ally, when we are meeting in person, you'll have dinner twice a month with the Circles community, then meet with and lend your support to someone striving meet their goals for moving out of poverty. You'll also touch base weekly via text, email, or phone to grow your relationship.

This isn't a traditional model of connecting people to social services (though that can be part of it), but rather facilitating economic improvement with someone currently living in poverty, who has set economic and life goals for themselves. For example, you might support your partner as they apply for education and jobs, help organize and stick with their budget, or work with them on a resume.

All Circles efforts are supported through ongoing training, programming and facilitation by a caring and experienced staff. Empowerment Allies participate on the first and third Monday of the month. When meeting in-person, the evening begins with a meal at 5:30, programming from 6:00-7:45 pm. You can be a Circles Empowerment Ally as an individual or couple. Dinner, child care, and children's programming are provided for volunteers and their children at each Circles meeting.

2 More opportunities with Circles Grand Rapids

About Circles Grand Rapids


3140 Wilson Ave SW, Grandville, MI 49418, US

Mission Statement

To inspire and equip families and communities to resolve poverty and thrive.


Launched in 2016, Circles GR is a chapter of Circles USA.

Circles engages the entire community to own the solution to poverty by (1) empowering low-income participants to permanently move out of poverty and (2) increasing the poverty IQ of our community. (Poverty IQ is the level of factual knowledge of the complexity of poverty.)

Motivated low-income participants attend 12 weeks of Circles Leadership Training to begin building financial, emotional, and social resources, and to create an Economic Stability Plan that sets goals unique to their personal needs and dreams. Graduates are called Circle Leaders - persons who proactively lead their own lives out of poverty.

Circle Leaders are then matched with two Empowerment Allies, community volunteers typically from middle class. Allies are trained and supported by Circles to provide long-term support twice a month for 18 months as the Circle Leader works to achieve stability goals.

The Circles initiative flourishes via weekly meetings - including a free meal and free child care for Allies and Leaders - to build community, provide peer support and accountability, discuss strategies for attaining self-sufficiency, and deepen healthy relationships.

Specific community leaders and decision makers are invited to occasional Big View meetings to collaborate in developing strategies together to relieve and remove specific systemic barriers so that both families and community thrive.

Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.


Neland Church940 Neland Ave. SEGrand Rapids, MI 49507



  • Mentoring
  • Networking
  • Budgeting
  • Life Coaching
  • People Skills
  • Relationship Building




  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 25
  • Orientation or Training
  • 10 hours per month
  • Envisions breaking the poverty cycle; builds relationships across socioeconomic lines; learns from a friendship with a family in poverty; enjoys accompanying others toward goals.

Report this opportunity