Financial donations can be made to the Circles Campaign and receipts for income tax purposes will be provided. Financial donations are used directly to assist Leaders to remove systemic barriers that will allow them to move forward with their plan of change. Some of these barriers include lack of transportation, the need to move to safe, affordable housing, OSAP defaults and other educational expenses.  

The Circles™ Campaign promotes the vision to end poverty in the County of Lambton. Your donation represents an investment and commitment to help people with their plan to transition out of poverty.

Contact Gayle Montgomery, Circles Coordinator 519 344-2062 ext. 2169 for more information regarding donations.

Circles® Micro-Credit Program

Education is the key to transitioning out of poverty and into long-term, viable employment opportunities. Many people in poverty are unable to access post-secondary education due to a previous OSAP default. 

When students default on their loan re-payment obligation, the provincial and federal portion of the student loan must be dealt with separately.  Students can request debt clearance for the federal portion allowing them to access additional federal student loans, however upon course completion the debt from both previous and current loans is still outstanding. 

There is no process for debt forgiveness or clearance for the provincial portion and as a result students are not eligible to receive any further funding from the Ontario student loan program.

Recently, at a Big View meeting, the issue regarding the impact of OSAP and how this system is creating a barrier to people who are trying to get out of poverty was discussed. The decision was made to raise funds to implement a local Circles® Micro-Credit Program. Funds raised will be used to secure loans issued to Circles® Leaders, people in poverty, who are facing barriers such as OSAP default in order that they may access much needed post-secondary education. Funds may also be loaned to address other significant barriers such as lack of transportation.

Fundraising efforts were launched with a breakfast event on September 23, 2010. The Circles® family prepared and served an early morning breakfast to community leaders including private-sector business representatives. This event provided an opportunity to promote Circles® and the fundraising efforts to create the Circles® Micro-Credit Program.

We have received several donations to date and are excited to be well on our way to making this dream a reality.