Who We Are
The oldest women’s charitable organization that benefit Georgia’s children. Over 300 women from around the state who generously donate their time and energy to facilitate the Circle’s mission – “To give aid and encouragement in promoting the education and welfare of children in the state of Georgia.” The Circle members are volunteers who are dedicated to carrying out the Circle’s rich tradition of serving the at-risk youth in the state. Our monetary donations help fill the gap between government and civic funding. Our hands on contributions significantly impact the lives of our future generations allowing them to become the people they believe they can be. The Circle is a registered 501(c)3 organization.
The late Mrs. Preston Arkwright, Sr. and Mrs. John K. Ottley were determined leaders who formed the Young Matron’s Circle for Tallulah Falls School. They wanted to provide funding as well as emotional support for the mountain children in this rural school that began as a one room schoolhouse. The Young Matrons Circle was ahead of its time in fundraising -- In 1934, the 25th anniversary of the school, the senior class sent their first Jubilee gift of $25 to the school trustees with the suggestion that “all friends of Tallulah make gifts this year in units of 25.” Members of the Young Matrons’ Circle took the seniors’ challenge to heart, and they raised $25,000 for the Jubilee.
In 1995, in order to enable the organization to expand its focus to serve other deserving children’s organizations, the membership voted to change the name to The Circle for Children. The Circle still funds scholarships for graduation Tallulah Falls School students in need of financial aid for higher learning.
How We Do It
There are women who have been in the Circle more than 40 years now. There are also women who have just joined and are already making life-long friends. Together this group of women are a force of creativity, love, compassion, energy and support. The love of children and the hope that children all over Georgia can live a life free from violence, hunger, fear, intimidation, loneliness and lack of love and caring is what makes our Circle strong and successful.
Every year about we grant thousands of dollars in college scholarships to high school seniors from our beneficiary organizations and to the school where it all started, Tallulah Falls School.
Our Scholarship committee forms friendships with these students and follows their time in college assisting with small needs from time to time as well as being mentors throughout their college or technical school journeys.
Why we do what we do…
In the state of Georgia:
Who are our Beneficiaries?
In 2017-2018 we have chosen Wellspring Living as our primary beneficiary organization. Wellspring Living has been serving survivors of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation since 2001. They are devoted to safeguarding and empowering domestic sex trafficking victims and those at risk to develop the courage to move forward and the confidence to succeed. Through life-giving residential and community-based programs, girls and young women are provided the opportunity to live and dream again.
We will continue hands-on programs at The for Children and Young Adults (CCYA) which we have had a relationship with for 7 years. CCYA serves multiple counties throughout the Atlanta area and surrounding areas. They provide a home for youth ages 12-21 who have been abused, neglected, and/or abandoned by their caregivers. Graduating seniors may qualify for scholarships provided by the Circle.
The Tallulah Falls School was the foundation for the Circle back in 1928. Our work there was more relevant back in 1928 when the school was just beginning. They have grown to an independent, coeducational boarding and day school serving 467 students in grades 5-12. We continue to provide scholarship opportunities to qualifying children with financial needs upon graduation.
Long Range Planning works throughout the year to identify organizations that fit our mission for assistance through monetary donations, hand-on programs, and/or specific one-time events we can support.
Annual Fundraising Event
Each spring we host either a Gala or Ball to benefit our programs and beneficiary organizations for the year. We have hosted black tie events as well as less formal artsy galas in some of the most elaborate and fun Georgia venues. We usually have a very exclusive silent auction and sometimes also have a live auction with one of a kind trips and experiences. The night is filled with excitement and fun with lots of dancing.