This is a blog post written by Landon parent Tammy Durbin about Landon’s relationship with A Wider Circle, a nonprofit organization aiming to end poverty. The group focuses on revitalizing neighborhoods, developing workforce skills, and creating stable homes.
A Wider Circle offers an opportunity for the Landon boys to see and feel the rewards of their good work in the community. This service work is hands-on; they can participate in pulling a sofa off of a truck, loading it onto a dock, having it steam-cleaned, and then loading it onto a dolly to the showroom floor. Often within minutes, a smiling client of A Wider Circle proudly claims the sofa for their home.
Landon began its relationship with A Wider Circle when a group of water polo players volunteered to serve in the fall of 2014. It was really the seed that helped this fruitful relationship grow!
While this group continued to serve over the next couple of years, Landon’s relationship with A Wider Circle was officially forged in the Middle School in 2016 with small groups of boys volunteering once a month. In January of 2017, more than 50 Middle School participants joined our first MLK Day of Service. The monthly outings eventually expanded to include Lower and Upper School students as well as Upper School teams.
In 2019, Mark Bergel, the Founder, President and CEO of A Wider Circle, served as a keynote speaker at our Brinkley Lecture series, explaining not only the value of service to the community but also the direct impact of our work for the people who receive A Wider Circle’s services.
During the pandemic, my son Spencer ’22, formed a “A Wider Circle Club” in the Upper School because we were not allowed on site. During the fall, he led a drive for toiletry items. A month later, this endeavor expanded to the entire school with a winter coat drive that brought in more than150 coats. The efforts continued to expand and, in January, the group formed a pantry and toiletry items drive for Landon’s MLK Day of Service. More than 180 bags of donated items from our community were delivered to A Wider Circle.
The boys and faculty assemble furniture, sort housewares, fold clothes, clean toys, and much more. Both students and faculty have had richer and more meaningful experiences with this hands-on approach to giving back. Although not in person this year, the staggering amount of donations the past few months speaks volumes to the connection and commitment our community has to A Wider Circle. Our mission statement speaks of productive, responsible, caring men guided by principles of perseverance and teamwork. The Landon boys and community freely giving of their time and effort at A Wider Circle embodies these principles in a very profound, honorable and meaningful way.