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Helping the circle around

Lydia Grimes | The Brewton Standard Former Circles director Deborah Mariott poses with new director Anita Watson.

Lydia Grimes | The Brewton Standard
Former Circles director Deborah Mariott poses with new director Anita Watson.

Anita Watson is a part of the Americorp Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and is working hard to see that Communities of Transformation (COT) continues to be a beacon to those who want to make life-saving changes to better themselves.

She recently took over the coordination of the program from Deborah Marriot and the group has classes on Wise Money Management every Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Brewton.

Classes include how to live debt free, home buying vs. renting, records and identity theft, and helpful programs for those who are looking for jobs.

“Communities of Transformation (COT) is a program that teaches participants how to cope with situations that they believe is beyond their capability,” Watson said.

“People hear the word poverty and they want to throw money at the problem. That is not what we are all about. Sure, we need money to operate, but mostly we need people who will invest in the community, not the pocketbook. We don’t give anyone anything they can do for themselves. Nobody knows what another person goes through, and we hope to be able to break what becomes a generational problem in some homes.”

COT in Brewton is a faith-based program, but it is interdenominational. It just so happens that the group meets at First United Methodist Church in Brewton. The church has been kind enough to offer the group the space in which to have their meetings each Tuesday night.

Participants and volunteers band together to learn and teach a variety of ways to better their lives. Everyone meets together and then splits up into smaller circles with a participant and however many volunteers they need.

Many families in this area are working hard, but they don’t know how to get to a better place. They lack more than financial resources. What they need are relationships, role models and creative problem-solving to find a better path forward.

This program is free to anyone who has a desire to learn the program and each session includes supper and child care.

“We need participants and volunteers,” Watson said. “We want participants who are dreaming of a better future and a better financial situation. The program lasts for 12 weeks and, and although its good to attend each one, we understand that isn’t always possible. Right now we are in the money management session  and it’s not too late to attend those, and a new 12-week session will begin in September.”

Anyone who is interested in getting involved, can call Watson on her cell phone at 251.513.1945.

Watson lives in Evergreen but she has plenty of ties with Brewton.

“I have five grandchildren in the school system here in Brewton. so I am here a lot to be a part of their activities here.”