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The Power of Giving Back: Why Volunteering Is A Great Way to Build Community!

At PowHER Circle Community, we foster connection and collaboration between our members. To offer more meaningful experiences beyond our cohort experiences, we integrated philanthropy into our programming, creating purpose-driven memories. During Women's History Month, we teamed up with The Precious Dreams Foundation for our inaugural Day of Service. Our goal was to showcase how collaboration, positivity, love, and encouragement can positively impact our personal and professional lives. As our founder, Angelica Alam, expressed, our hope was to demonstrate the collective power of these values.

"We at Precious Dreams Foundation want to extend our heartfelt thanks to The PowHER Circle for their support. The women of color who volunteer with us bring unique perspectives, experiences, and expertise that are crucial to building a more inclusive and equitable community. Their dedication inspires others to make a difference, creating a ripple effect of positive change for our most marginalized populations. Together, we are working towards building stronger and more vibrant communities, empowering women and future leaders. - Nicole Russell, Executive Director of The Precious Dreams Foundation

We are excited to share our experience with you, in the hopes that it inspires you and your communities to embrace philanthropy as a means of building a stronger community.

A PowHERful Day of Service:

The Foundation

The Precious Dreams Foundation (PDF), is a 501(c)3, BIPOC women-led non-profit organization that provides sleep support, teaches healthy coping mechanisms, and helps youth in foster care and homeless shelters uncover paths to fostering their dreams. Since 2012, the organization has served over 17,000 underserved youth and young adults navigating uncertainty worldwide and in our local communities. This organization was a perfect fit for our service day, especially given this organization's Co-founder and Executive Director, Nicole Russell, is one of our favorite powerhouses!

The Volunteers

As volunteers, we didn't care about our titles outside of the work we were doing. Each and every woman who dedicated their time rolled up their sleeves and got to work. We raised $5,000 to sponsor 150 comfort bags for young teenage girls in the Bronx. Thanks to the generosity of our kind-hearted volunteers and donors, we exceeded our goal without any trouble and had a gratifying experience. We learned that service is the ultimate equalizer, with no room for ego. We're thankful for our amazing PowHER Circle Members and Volunteers.

The Fundraising

We exceeded our fundraising goal of $5,000, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful volunteers and donors. Initially, we thought it would be a challenging task, but with the help of our community and some valuable tips from PDF's founder, we were able to surpass our goal in just a few days. We are thankful to every single person who contributed to this cause and made it possible for us to provide comfort to those we served.

The Bag Assembling

It's hard to put into words just what makes the Bronx community so special, but our Day of Service showed us firsthand the incredible kindness and generosity of the community. We were fortunate enough to connect with a local business owner, The Bronx Public, who not only offered up their venue for our project but also generously sponsored food and drinks for all of our volunteers. With their help, we were able to put together 150 comfort bags filled with brand-new, age-appropriate books, plush toys, journals, pajamas, and other bedtime necessities. We can't thank the team at BXP enough for their unwavering support and commitment to the underserved in their community.

Working towards a shared goal can be incredibly impactful for both a community and the individuals involved. Not only did we make a positive impact, but we also had a wonderful time getting to know each other more deeply.

"Serving with The Power Circle and PDF in the Bronx deeply touched my heart, being part of both organizations has allowed me to meet incredible people who make it easy to love the community. Witnessing the impact we made on the lives of those we served, and the sense of unity and camaraderie that blossomed amongst volunteers and young adults reinforced the true power of coming together to serve an underserved community." - Yuliana Bravo, Board Member The Precious Dreams Foundation + PowHER Circle Member.

The Comfort Drop:

The most unique and memorable part of our day was the afternoon spent with a group of teenage girls, thanks to the generosity of our local sponsor, Rosa @ Park and The Precious Dreams Foundation, we were able to provide transportation, food, and take-home boxes for these girls, and we spent the time doing breathing exercises, listening to powerful keynote speakers, and engaging in a journal prompt session. It was truly uplifting to have such inspirational women in the room to speak words of encouragement and motivation to these young women. Jasmine Hernandez, Esq reminded the girls of their rights, followed by April Hernandez delivering a powerful call to action, reminding us all that our dreams are important and that we have the ability to achieve them, "We can, We Will". It was a truly special moment that we will never forget.

One of the best aspects of collaborating with PDF is that it leaves everyone in the room feeling motivated and inspired. Check out what our volunteers had to say about their experience:

"As a Bronx native, serving my community is a passion of mine. I felt it was crucial for these young girls to receive support and inspiration from women who truly empathize with their struggles, and it was an honor to be able to provide that. My hope is that our time together has left a lasting impact on them and given them the confidence that brighter days are ahead. Having personally experienced the power of positive guidance, I know that these girls have immense potential if given the right resources. It's our responsibility to give back to our community and offer that sense of hope. This experience has left a profound impression on me that I will never forget." - Pilar De La Cruz, CEO of Supiglow.

"During my time living and teaching in the Bronx, I have witnessed the challenges that our youth face firsthand. I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to bring the necessary resources into our community. I personally wanted to help shift the narrative of these young women from "I'm surviving" to "I'm thriving". It was a gratifying experience to encourage these young women that, despite their struggles, they are appreciated and backed by a caring community. I'm excited to participate in more of these initiatives going forward." - Vanessa Paula, Educator.

"I find great fulfillment in giving back to my community, and it's a passion that I plan to pursue for the foreseeable future. Recently, I was fortunate enough to participate in The Powher Circle and Precious Dreams Foundation Day of Service, and it was an incredibly moving and inspiring experience. I was able to share my personal story with a group of young women who have faced similar struggles, hoping that it provided them with the motivation they need to keep persevering. Being able to show them that their current situation is not their forever place was a truly special moment, and I'm eager to continue doing this type of work moving forward. - Monique Johnson, Wine & Spirits Marketing Lead

The PowHer Circle and The Precious Dreams Foundation's partnership was a perfect showcase of how serving others can make a community flourish. Every person who participated should feel proud of the impact they had made.

"Hosting a day of service may seem like a small act, but it can have a big impact on the lives of those we serve. We provided teenage girls and children in shelters with a creative outlet (journaling) we allowed them to process their emotions, reduce stress or anxiety and we helped provide them with a safe space to express whatever worries are on their hearts." - Desi, Manager, Community Organizer & Social Engagement, The Precious Dreams Foundation.

A special thank you to our sponsors, The Bronx Public, Rosa @ Park, that graciously hosted us with their venues for the assembling of comfort bags and programming. A special thank you to @Lionchaser_Films for capturing all the magic and @Angie Vasquez for all of the beautiful photos.

What do you think should be our next Day of Service? We'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments section!


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