Open Letter

 Remain Resilient, Get Involved, & Stay Positive

1 February, 2017


As we start the new year, after a tumultuous and bitter election cycle, we are starting 2017 in a climate of unprecedented divisiveness, fear, and lack of civility. But, we, as a group of inclusive, respectful and compassionate people, must remain hopeful and positive for our future. These words may seem trite and even too hard to imagine given the realities of what we have experienced and are learning about daily. But more than ever they are the course we need to take.

I am able to make this statement because of the examples of hope and resilience I have witnessed from the women served by our agency, Sarah’s Circle. We work with women who have been victimized on many levels – physical, emotional, and societal – by a lack of healthcare resources, inequitable pay, and insufficient access to affordable housing. These staggering abuses and inequities have been discussed and well documented.

At Sarah’s Circle, we are so fortunate to see the women we serve as models of hope and encouragement. Their fortitude, self-reliance and compassion for others have guided so many of these women to better health, increased self-sufficiency, and out of homelessness. Let us follow their example of how we can persevere, remain hopeful, maintain our belief in the goodness of others, and work to make our society a safer, more equitable and more compassionate world for all.

Just as the women served by Sarah’s Circle can be our guides and examples, so can the thousands of volunteers at countless agencies here in Chicago, throughout the United States and around the globe who serve the women, children, and refugees who need our help. These wonderful volunteers – and I hope many of you are among them – who donate their time, expertise, and money are, like the volunteers at Sarah’s Circle, the backbone of organizations making positive change.

By rolling up your sleeves to volunteer or opening your checkbook to give, to whatever cause you value and feel is compromised,  you are actively participating in the efforts necessary to move us forward. While systemic initiatives are needed and are powerful, individual efforts that involve volunteering and donations have an immediate impact on those most in need of help today.  Not only are you making sure that individuals are fed, cared for, and given a place to stay, your volunteer efforts close the gap between our perceived differences and also strengthen the momentum of individuals serving and helping others in lieu of divisiveness and creating fear. So remain resilient, get involved in your communities, and become part of the change you would like to see.

Thank you.



Kathy Ragnar
Executive Director


Executive Director Featured in Podcast

Public Goods is a Chicago-based podcast featuring interviews with public and non-profit leaders solving local problems and changing the lives of the people they serve. Host, Tom Holmberg, requested to interview Executive Director, Kathy Ragnar, about Sarah's Circle's programs and the women served. Listen to the podcast at the link below.
Public Goods Podcast: Kathy Ragnar talks about Sarah's Circle

You can hear more episodes of Public Goods on its website:

Ways to Help

Please visit our Ways to Help page to learn more about the many ways you can directly impact the women of Sarah’s Circle.


Sarah’s Circle is a refuge for women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. By providing life necessities, housing, case management, clinical and social services, we encourage women to empower themselves by rebuilding both emotionally and physically; realizing their unique potential.

Sarah's Circle

4838 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 773-728-1991

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