As the 123JUNK team is dedicated to serving our community, we are also committed to partnering with local organizations that are on a mission to help those in need. We are happy to introduce this month’s partner: A Wider Circle. A Wider Circle is a non-profit organization based in Silver Spring, MD, that is on a mission to end poverty by helping marginalized communities find stable homes, providing workforce development, and revitalizing neighborhoods. Let’s get to know their Interim President and CEO, Amy Javaid.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at A Wider Circle?
My name is Amy Javaid. I’ve been here for over four years, but I have been involved with the organization for nearly a decade. I was just so drawn in by the work that when a part-time Workforce Development Department job opportunity arose, I took it wholeheartedly. I really enjoyed connecting with clients and job seekers, understanding their different paths, and supporting them on their journey.
Over time, I wore multiple hats. Now, as Interim President and CEO, I am honored to take the organization through a major transition period.
Why did you choose this field of work?
I’ve always worked with nonprofits and marginalized communities. I spent the majority of my career working with nonprofits overseas that specialized in a variety of social service work related to education, underserved communities, maternal and child health, and more.
After having a family and spending some time being a mom – which is its own community and very important work – I started out doing more, but I really wanted to do it domestically.
It became this nice next chapter in being part of A Wider Circle, but it was also such a great complement to the work that I had already done.
What are your favorite aspects of working at a non-profit organization?
One of my favorite things is the passion those around me bring to work. I tell the staff they are what gets me up in the morning. They are also what keeps me up at night but mostly because I want us to succeed as a team.
People are drawn to this common sense of purpose. When you work in a large corporation, there are a lot of drivers that get you in that door, but when you work for a non-profit that is mission-driven, it’s really the mission that brings you in the door and binds you as a unit.
Do you remember how you ended up partnering with 123JUNK?
As an organization committed to poverty eradication, it is really important for us to recognize that we can’t do it alone. We can be a key driver in that equation, but eradicating poverty and supporting all of our neighbors in need requires all of us.
123JUNK has been involved in our Essential Support Program, providing trucks for collecting donations and pickups. They have been advocates and ambassadors to their clients about our work and active on our young professionals board.
Our partnership is such a perfect example of the many different ways that organizations, corporations, and public sector officials can engage. It doesn’t need to be one and done or just writing a check. Engagement is equally important–it’s the time, talent, and treasure.
Can you tell us about a memorable moment with 123JUNK?
As a business, moving things from point A to point B, collecting and hauling–it is a core part of our business too. The fact that we are able to collaborate and move or collect items from clients who otherwise might throw them away and get them to us so that our families can utilize them is a large concept to wrap your mind around. One empty apartment can suddenly be full with all of the items you need to make it feel like home. It takes many hands and great commitment.
123JUNK has really been instrumental in recognizing that value and understanding how important serving those in need is. They help us make the seemingly impossible possible.
What advice would you give to others looking to support the community during such an uncertain time?
There’s various ways people can contribute, but often the concept of poverty eradication seems so overwhelming but it is possible. Shift your mindset; realize that everybody has a value in that equation and more can be accomplished.
How can others reach out to support A Wider Circle? Do you have any events coming up?
During last year’s lockdown, we were supposed to have a 5K, and we shifted it to a virtual event. It was the first virtual event and we were honored to have over 1,100 participants. We are happy to announce that we are doing it again this year!
The Virtual Race to End Poverty is a month-long series of activities that kicks off Saturday, April 3rd and concludes with a virtual 5K on Saturday, May 1st. When you register, you will have access to weekly workouts, cooking and nutrition workshops, yoga and meditation, and more. Anyone can log in, especially for those who want to time their run or walk, so we would love for people to participate.
Learn more about A Wider Circle and how you can help by volunteering, donating items, and funding their programs.