Stories from Resilience Circles

In Their Own Words…

“We used to meet in the basement of the local library, about twelve of us, each week.  The librarian was always asking us what we were laughing at.  Somehow we just always had a lot of fun when we met. And we helped each other in all kinds of ways.”
– Bill R., Indiana

“At the fifth meeting of my Resilience Circle, we exchanged “Gifts and Needs.” Participants had written their gifts – things they could offer – on one set of note-cards and their needs on another. The facilitator started  the exchange by offering to give bike tune-ups, and mentioning she’d like to be able to hem her own pants.  A few moments later, after two others also said that they’d like to learn to sew, one woman offered to run a sewing class for the group. And moments after that, I was somehow scheduling a time for the pastor of the church to cut my hair.  A dog-sitting/child-care exchange began to bud. People began brainstorming about how to find and share a 20-foot ladder.”
– Sarah Byrnes, Roslindale MA

“Our group shared lawn mowers, books, and tools; brainstormed job possibilities; and shared inexpensive recipe ideas and savings tips.  We would bulk shop together and we’d tell each other about sales.  One woman started teaching exercise classes after the group helped her get started, and a few others published books using suggestions and expertise from the group.  We even kept an “emergency jar” at the center of the table. People would often put 50 cents or a dollar into it at meetings, though it wasn’t required. The money didn’t get used very often, but much like the group itself, it provided a sense of security just in knowing it was there.”
– Connie Allen, South Paris ME

“Facilitating a Common Security Club feels like providing water to desperately thirsty people. People are hungry for this information, hungry to share their experiences and frustrations, and hungry to gain some control in a world that often seems out of control.  During the first session one participant commented that ‘this may well be the most important program the church has ever offered.’”
– Trudy McNulty, Portland ME

“This is one of the best pastoral tools I’ve used in terms of giving members of my congregation a sense of agency in their economic lives.”
– Rev. Cecelia Kingman, Edmonds WA

More Stories…

Resilience Circle Stories

Posted November 25, 2014

Small groups of 8 – 15 people can form Resilience Circles for learning, mutual aid and social action. Circles are a great way to form community, build resilience, and have fun!
Get Small to Go Big: How Howard County MD Launched a Transition Initiative

Posted October 6, 2014

“People are so busy and over-committed, but meeting in a home with friends and food to talk informally – that can really be a game-changer.”
How to Win Friends and Influence the New Economy

Posted August 27, 2013

Loneliness is as strong as smoking or alcohol abuse as an indicator of premature mortality. When Lisa Cook found she had no one to help her put her cat down, she decided to act.
What if we all enjoyed meaningful social connections?

Posted May 6, 2013

Watch Resilience Circle facilitator Lisa Cook’s excellent TEDx Talk! Lisa talks about the increasing problem of American loneliness and isolation, including her own personal story. Around 6:40 into the video, she talks about how Circles can help folks create community. Related items: St. Paul, MN Connections, by Marge Piercy Video: The Spirit Level – Income […]
Resilience Circle is Aimed at Encouraging Community and Sustainability in Lakewood’s Many Neighborhoods

Posted September 12, 2012

DenverPost.Com: Lakewood Program Works to Grow Community in Neighborhoods August 29, 2012, by Emilie Rusch In a lush, backyard garden in Lakewood, a group of neighbors was talking about how to attract hummingbirds. Try planting agastache, suggested Tom Slabe, an expert in backyard wildlife habitats. It’s also known as hummingbird mint. The group was gathered […]
Redwood City Resilience Circle Joins Fight Against Prison Expansion

Posted August 22, 2012

The Redwood City Resilience Circle joined other local groups in opposing the construction of a new jail in San Mateo. Read more about this effort here. See their letter below. Submitted to [email protected]: Please include our group on the list of public endorsements for your letter to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors found […]
Resilience Circles help Communities Recover from Extreme Weather

Posted July 11, 2012

With many Americans only recently recovered from extreme weather, transportation challenges, and power and communications outages, some explore ways to strengthen local circles of support
What’s Your Small Group Up To?

Posted June 14, 2012

~ News and Views from Around the Resilience Circle Network ~ Supporting Entrepreneurs in Davenport, IA Kathy Thompson wants to expand her core small group to a larger group for small business owners. “I’m part of an informal small group of women who own small businesses and work from home. I want to expand this […]
Resilience Circles arrive at St. Martin of Tours in San Jose, California

Posted May 3, 2012

On Monday evening, April 30, members of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in San Jose gathered for Session One of the Resilience Circle curriculum. The event marked the first Resilience Circle to convene in a Catholic church. Welcome aboard, St. Martin’s! May your leadership inspire others! The story of St. Martin’s begins with their Peace […]
Increasing The Ratio of Love per Square Foot: Building a Tiny House

Posted April 30, 2012

Two Redwood City Resilience Circle members have taken a tremendous step toward sustainable and resilient living. They are building and will soon live in a tiny (120 square foot) house! On their blog, Candace and Aaron explain: “We have engaged with the community on [climate change, resource depletion, health, and social and economic insecurity]… We have […]

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