New Year, New Name and Amazing People!

We are super excited about 2019!

The past five years have been amazing for us and more importantly, for the lives we’ve been blessed to be a part of! We have experienced tremendous growth. So much so, that it required us to re-brand from Circles to Building Bridges in order to expand our reach and our curriculum.

Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. That’s why we remain laser-focused on changing the big picture on what people think about poverty. People are learning what poverty is vs. what they’ve always thought it was. This is creating a more empathetic community and creating fewer barriers for people experiencing poverty.

The foundation that has been laid by people such as Ryan Melton, Teddy Steen, and David Heltzel, the endless blood sweat and tears put in by our Coordinator, Laurie Mitchell, and the true passion that you witness by our extremely active Board Members, Scott Vorhees, Terry Wachter, Jay St. Clair, Nancy Bettasso, Kevin Badgley, Gary Bandy, and Garen McMillian, their depth of commitment to make a difference in the lives of others is immeasurable.

All of our amazing Allies who not only selflessly support our participant’s efforts through networking, listening and offering guidance but actively create social change within our community.

We also have a multitude of volunteers that are our true unsung heroes, people such as Barbie Huff who facilitates classes every week, Christy Herrin-Hamilton and her contribution to our Board as well as her priceless knowledge on finances and budgeting, and Sue Ginsburg our resident volunteer coordinator, data analyst, and curriculum developer.

Our selfless childcare providers who high-fives and listens and have the patience of Saints, Belinda Belk, Ruth Blake, Jan Crandon, Amanda Eckman, and Casi Nelson, as well.Rebecca Culver and Sara Ellis.We are forever grateful! We have also come to love the relationship we’re building with the medical students from our local KCU Medicine & Biosciences campus. They have been a tremendous help with our children’s program.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t give a shout-out to the different organizations across our community that have provided family-style meals each week, a HUGE THANK YOU to: Joplin Elks Lodge, bible study groups with St. Paul’s Church, The Light, Soroptimist, Rotary, Kiwanis, Forest Park, First Presbyterian’s “Be Team”, Mercy, Freeman Health System, Southwest Missouri Bank, Arvest Bank, AT&T, MaMa JJ’s, Liberty Utilities, Mark Farmer, and JACC Young Professionals.

We wouldn’t be where we are today if it hadn’t been for each and everyone of you and that’s why the core of what makes Building Bridges so successful will never change – at the end of the day, it’s about relationships. And it always will be.