circles washtenaw county

Volunteer With Us

There are countless ways to get involved with Circles Washtenaw County! If you would like to be a part of our vision to empower families and can volunteer your time and talents, apply now!

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A group of four standing adults smile at the camera.
Become an Ally

Walk alongside an individual or family as they work toward their goals of eliminating poverty from their lives.

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Two men and a woman serve fresh food to Circle participants.
Feed the Circle

Every week we depend on the generosity of volunteers to provide and serve a meal to our Circles group!

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An older man sitting on the ground with two children as they learn how to use hammers.
Support the Kids

Join us for two hours on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm to support the youth with their goals and hopes for the future!

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Three women, smiling towards the camera, are sitting at a table together while filling out forms during a Circles night.
Join a Resource Team

We have several resource teams designed to help support the success of the Circles program. These teams meet at different intervals throughout the year.

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Feed the Circle

Meals can be prepared ahead of time and heated or cooked in the kitchen at St. Luke Lutheran Church. Groups can also choose to purchase a meal through local restaurants or catering options. We encourage volunteers to sit down and enjoy the meal with us!

Support The Kids

The Circles Children’s Program offers programming for kids every Tuesday from 6-8pm. We encourage children’s program volunteers to join us for dinner at 6pm as a way to get to know the kids and their families better. The youth are divided into groups based on their ages. Each age group has a Lead Teacher and several support volunteers. Background checks are required for all teachers and volunteers in the youth program.

To learn more about becoming a Children’s Program volunteer, please fill out a Volunteer Application or contact the Circles staff to attend one of our upcoming Circles Information sessions:

Join a Resource Team

Jobs and Education Team (JET) partners with Leaders and their Allies helping them to define and achieve their career and education goals. We frequently draw upon our team’s experience and networks to meet each Leader’s specific needs. If the cohort has common needs, our team develops targeted workshops or identifies experts to lead training. This team meets once a month via a zoom and tries to have a team member present at every Circle meeting. Members of the JET team are often knowledgeable in some of these areas:

  • Education (ex. scholarship/college application assistance, career training requirement research, exam preparation, after high school planning)
  • Jobs & Workforce Readiness (ex. resume and cover letter review, interview preparation, networking guidance, career exploration, marketable skill identification/development, finding local jobs with livable wage & benefits)
  • Business & Start-Up (ex. consultation, liaison to business resources, business plan assistance, advising

Big View Team supports the Circles community through helping navigate, educate and advocate around many of the systemic barriers that hold people in poverty. The team meets twice a month virtually and attends Circles meetings every other month. Members of the Big View team can expect to be involved in:

  • Listening sessions with the Circle Leaders as they identify systemic barriers
  • Researching policies and practices that can influence systemic barriers
  • Educating both the Circles and greater community on topics like: Voter Education, the Benefits Cliff Effect, and local, state, and federal policies that impact individuals experiencing poverty
  • Helping organize events like community town halls and panels
  • Building healthy relationships with local and state leaders as a pipeline for Circles Leaders voices to be heard

Community Team ensures that the Circles community is fed every week! This team coordinates meals, volunteers, kitchen supervisors, and supplies. They also assist with special events like Family Nights and Circles graduation ceremonies. The team meets in person every other month. Kitchen Supervisors typically lead the kitchen duties once a month.

To join a resource team, fill out the volunteer application form below.

Circles Volunteer Application

To learn more about joining one of these teams, please complete our Volunteer Application and attend one of our Circles Information sessions. To find the dates/times of upcoming sessions please email:

Join the Circles Community

become a leader
Circles helps families become stable with a unique approach. Participants are called Circle Leaders and receive training on finances, employment, health, goal setting, and communication skills. As a Circle Leader, you will be matched with 2-3 Allies who are there to support you in your journey out of poverty. Getting out of poverty is easier when you have a circle of support!
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become an ally
Allies are intentional thought partners for Circle Leaders. As an Ally, your job is to listen, ask questions, make suggestions, and be a true friend and supporter. You and 1-2 other Allies will help Circle Leaders use their unique gifts and skills to reach their goals, and Circle Leaders will help you better understand poverty in your community.
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There are many ways to use your gifts in the Circles community! Some of these opportunities include joining a Resource Team to provide an additional layer of support for Circle Leaders. Every week we are looking for groups to provide and serve a meal for the Circles group. We also have an energetic Children’s Program that welcomes volunteers to share their time and talent!
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Need Additional Help?

Call the friends in Deed Help Line: (734) 484-4357

Monday-Friday • 9:30am to 2:00pm

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View the Friends In Deed programs.

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