Sarah Ford | January 9, 2015

A Wider Circle Founder, Mark Bergel, Named a Washingtonian of the Year

A Wider Circle founder and Executive Director, Mark Bergel, has been named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine.

After Bergel got his PhD in sociology at AU, two professors encouraged him to teach a course on his passion: combatting poverty. He began A Wider Circle in 2001 following a visit with students to a family who lived in an apartment containing only a chair and a TV. It was life-changing for the teacher, who vowed: “I will not sleep in a bed until everyone in need is able to sleep in a bed. I will sleep on the floor and the couch and let that inspire me to work harder on behalf of those in poverty.” (Long single, he has stuck to the promise.)

Bergel began by asking people he knew to donate furniture. He stashed pieces in friends’ garages and borrowed vans for pickups. His students became his interns. Eventually he acquired an abandoned warehouse—a move some nonprofit leaders might have questioned. Not this one: “The people I meet are suffering. I can’t be cautious.” His goal isn’t to make comfortable people feel guilty but to empower everyone to do something. Says Bergel: “Our nation’s capital has to be a model of what is possible.”

>> Read the Complete Article Here

>> Donate to A Wider Circle

Get Resources and Insights Straight To Your Inbox

Explore More Articles

Celebrating Juneteenth and Continuing to Work in Solidarity for Racial Justice, Equality, and Equity

May 9, 2024

June 19 — also known as Juneteenth, or the nation’s second Independence Day — commemorates the end of slavery in Texas, and therefore the nation,…

Read Article

LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2024

May 9, 2024

In honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan – considered the tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States – each…

Read Article

Men’s Health Month

May 9, 2024

June is Men’s Health Month, a time to focus on the unique health challenges faced by men and to encourage them to prioritize their physical…

Read Article

Get Resources and Insights Straight To Your Inbox

Receive our monthly/bi-monthly newsletter filled with information about causes, nonprofit impact, and topics important for corporate social responsibility and employee engagement professionals, including disaster response, workplace giving, matching gifts, employee assistance funds, volunteering, scholarship award program management, grantmaking, and other philanthropic initiatives.

newsletter-mock