What is an Ally?

An Ally is an intentional friend; a volunteer looking for a meaningful impactful experience, which involves connecting with a Circle Leader, by providing support as the Circle Leader is working on goals.

You might be thinking…

But I’m no expert at life!

I don’t have all the answers!

What if the support I offer is wrong?

What if I say the wrong thing?!

An Ally only has to be a friend, a consistent supportive individual, able to collaborate and cheerlead a Circle Leader as the Circle Leader is leading his/her own plan towards economic stability.

Chris Howell Photography SCCAP Cirlcles Graduation in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010.

Is there education and training involved?

Our Circle Leaders go through training where they reconnect with their dreams, set SMART goals, , and learn how to lead out on their goals.

While the Circle Leaders go through this, our Allies receive education on being culturally sensitive, trauma-informed, and training from Bridges Out of Poverty. This education is provided to give our Allies a toolbox of skills to use in their future relationships with our families.

When Circle Leaders and Allies have completed their various trainings, Circles Salt Lake helps to create the Matched Circle, which is where the magic happens!

What is a Matched Circle?

A Matched Circle is when a Circle Leader is partnered with his/her Allies! While Circle Leaders and Allies are receiving their respective trainings, the Circle Community learns more about one-another’s strengths and personalities. The Circle Leader, Allies, and Circles Staff share their observations on which Allies would be best to support which Circle Leaders. After opinions are in, then there is a fun, exciting Weekly Meeting focused on revealing whom is matched to whom.

Of course, the matching happens well after we have done team-building exercises between Circle Leaders and Allies, Get-To-Know-You icebreakers, and other relationship building activities.

The Matched Circle will then meet together during the Weekly Meetings to collaborate and update each other on progress towards goals.

What am I committing to?

  • Attending weekly meetings 2x/ month on Thursday nights from 5:45pm- 7:45pm in order to support their Circle Leader
  • Being an Ally for a minimum of 6 months
  • Passing a background check
  • Building and strengthening relationships with Circles community
  • Sharing time, skills, interests, and resources with the community
  • Working on personal goals and collaborating

Do you enjoy doing any of these?

Below are some activities Circle Leaders and Allies have done together:

  • Job search
  • Bake Cookies
  • Organize
  • Budget
  • Garden
  • Build resumes
  • Celebrate holidays
  • Study
  • Socialize
  • Diet/ Exercise
  • Share experiences
  • Share dreams
  • Share goals
  • Share knowledge
  • Share resources

Baking Christmas
Exercise Partners
Forest Friends

Contact Kelli for more information!

Below are some frequently asked questions by previous Circles allies

How do I become an Ally?

Becoming an Ally involves contacting your local Circles Chapter. The Circles staff will talk with you over the phone to learn about you and your interests. From there, the staff will schedule a time to meet with you and let you know when our next Ally training series will start.

Circle Hands

What is my weekly time commitment?

Allies are expected to attend the weekly two-hour meeting every week if possible. We understand there will be times you may have something come up or be out of town, but it’s important to be there as often as possible in order to develop meaningful relationships with Circle Leaders. Time outside weekly meeting is encouraged. Average weekly commitment of 2-3 hours.

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Am I obligated to help my Circle Leader out financially?

Nope! In fact, we strongly discourage our Allies from giving money in any form to Circle Leaders. We encourage Allies to connect their Circle Leaders with community resources, or to talk with their Coach if questions of money donations comes up.

Banking

What makes a good Ally?

To be a good Ally you only need to be able to be a good friend. Good friends are reliable, take a genuine interest in one-another’s well-being, help each other connect to resources, and provide support.

Young Women Travel Together Concept

How long will I be an Ally?

You will be an Ally for the course of your Circle Leader to come out of poverty, however, you will be a friend indefinitely!

Some Circle Leaders will break the cycle of poverty and make 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines in about 12-18 months. Other Circle Leaders may take longer. We ask our Allies to stick by their Circle Leader’s while they travel their journey out of poverty. The minimum time commitment we are looking for from Allies is 12-18 months.

Travel Diary Memories Pictures Concept