Full Circle
Circle Center's E-Newsletter
"Live in the sunshine.
Swim in the sea.
Drink in the wild air."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Summer marches on. Swiftly! With the true dog days of summer ahead of us, the middle of the summer gave us an opportunity to share what we have been up to. Although summer offers time for rest and relaxation, it is also a time to renew focus and energy on some of our projects we can't always get to. Thankfully summer also means we have students who can really support us with this work!

In this special edition of Full Circle, you'll hear from one of our summer interns, MJ Benson, who spent 8 weeks with us, on what she learned during her time with us as well as more about one of her summer projects, setting up legislative visits. These legislative visits from our states representatives are important to spreading the word about the crucial work that adult day serves in our communities. Thank you to MJ, for sharing your perspective of the work that we do, and thank you to all of our summer students, volunteers and interns for your work and support this summer!

Last but not least, the sweltering temperatures outside have been matched by some frosty temperatures inside...in our industrial refrigerator, which decided to take the ultimate summer break "down." We invite you below to help us "fund our fridge!"
Summer Internship: by MJ Benson
If you had asked me before my internship at Circle Center started what adjective I would describe the experience as, “life changing” wouldn’t have been my first pick. Yet, here I am, three months later, and as I reflect, I realize this has genuinely been a life changing experience. Not only have I learned so much from our brilliant CEO Heather Turbyne-Pollard, but I’ve learned so much from my coworkers and our participants.

Being at the Circle Center taught me the complexities that go into nonprofits in a way that my academic career will never be able to. I’ve been blessed in having direct experience with my future profession with the most passionate people in our field. 
MJ and her colorful hair always brightened our hallways...although she had some competition with our bright orange wall!

Harold was also a regular visitor and while his hair style was decidedly less colorful, he was just as friendly and welcoming!
They view the participants as their own family.
I’ve had a variety of jobs from grocery stores to dog-groomers and none have had the passion for what they do like those at the Circle Center. My coworkers at my previous jobs were only there for the paycheck, they weren’t driven by what they did or wanting to get better at their job. But every single person I met at the Circle Center loved their job.

There was a love for one another and for the participants that I didn’t expect. Behind the scenes with one another, they talk about the participants with such fondness and care that I was surprised at first. The PCAs and CNAs view these participants as their own family and friends and treat them as such. Seeing the patience and concern that they give each participant revived my hope for the future. 
I will cherish these moments.
Graduating high school during the pandemic meant that a lot of my “first” big experiences in life were canceled or altered entirely. Seeing some of the worst of the worst in humanity come out of people when you are freshly 18 is something that would lead to a lot of people losing their hope in the world. It’s so easy to get lost in the depressing news and how, regardless of where you look, there is a pessimistic perspective making itself known. But seeing the love in the interactions at the Circle Center was comforting to see. Walking through the hallways and hearing snippets of conversations that are rooted in compassion and happiness was something that put a smile on my face.

If I ever had a slow moment, I was able to walk to the rooms and see what everyone was up to. Whether it was a day of painting watermelons or jamming to classics, the participants had big smiles and were dancing away. They were talking to one another, laughing with the PCAs and CNAs, and in the moments that they chose to talk to me, I was so thankful. Having the ability to connect to the participants one on one and find these connections, like them previously working at the school I attend, shopping for glasses together, or practicing my Spanish, was my favorite part of this summer. I will cherish these moments for years to come.
I was able to learn an infinitesimal amount of knowledge
Aside from being able to connect with the participants and bond with the PCAs and CNAs, I was able to learn an infinitesimal amount of knowledge from working at the center and interacting with those on the administrative side. I was able to work directly with everyone, but especially our CEO Heather.

She has a rich history of working with nonprofits of any kind and hearing her stories and advice will shape my future with them. She was incredibly pivotal in my understanding of how the legislative side of nonprofits work. One of my tasks for the summer was to set up legislative visits with government officials to talk about the future of adult day centers, Medicare, and how to improve government support for Adult Day Centers. 

Legislative Visits discuss the future of Adult Day!
We were successful in setting up two meetings with Virginia State Delegate Rodney Willett and United States Senator Mark Warner’s office. Delegate Rodney Willett had previously worked with Heather and they reunited. He visited the Circle Center on June 14th and we spent our meeting discussing a variety of important topics. We discussed Medicaid and the reimbursement process as well as how to make it more affordable for our participants for quite some time. We discussed how transportation works and the complexities within it as well as challenges we have had with it. He toured the facility for a bit and met some of our participants. While state delegates are more limited in their ability to reform Medicaid, our conversation was incredibly productive. We will be meeting with him more in the future to work on improving Adult Day Centers throughout Virginia!
Our meeting with Mark Warner’s office was also a very productive meeting. We met with Alexis Bowles-Fryar, Senator Warner’s Constituent Advocate on July 6th. We discussed current house bills in legislation that revolve around healthcare costs and what Senator Warner knows about Adult Day Centers throughout the US. Alexis was incredibly informative and passionate about her work. She was excited to discuss and ask questions about our center and our day-to-day functions. We look forward to working with her more!
Help us Fund our Fridge!
Wait..this wasn’t in the budget! 

Calling all Circle Center supporters! We are “circling the wagons” for help with the purchase of a new commercial refrigerator for our busy kitchen!

Our old refrigerator finally kicked the bucket and we are in desperate need of funds to cover the cost of a new commercial refrigerator. The refrigerator is used daily in our kitchen and allows us to safely prepare and store meals and snacks for our participants. The fridge we need costs $6,300!

Please help us in our efforts to get a new fridge by donating whatever you can at https://circlecenterva.org/ways-to-help/donate/ 

Just add a note when prompted: “fridge fund!”
 
Thank you for sharing this with your network. Together, we know we can raise the funds necessary to purchase this much needed item.