The 5th Announcement of TGC Compassion Award: Kevin “Wheels” Wheeler

It’s day five and time to announce number five of the seven winners of the 2018 Giving Circle Compassion awards: Today we congratulate Kevin “Wheels” Wheeler, winner of The Serge Shishik Memorial Local Team Member of the Year-Whose Actions Display the Embodiment of Compassion and Who Through Selfless Compassion Most Influenced or Touched People Both in the Saratoga Area and Nationally – Award.

All who know this good man know that, whenever a call goes out asking for help rebuilding homes, he is one of the first in line with his skills and tools. And he always lights up the job site with his huge heart and many jokes, none of which I can use here.

Come join us this Nov 29th to honor Kevin (Wheels) Wheeler and all the winners of Compassion awards.


The 4th Announcement of TGC Compassion Award: Longfellows and the Olde Bryan Inn.

Fourth announced winner of the 2018 Giving Circle Compassion Awards: – the Local Business Whose Actions Display the Embodiment of Compassion. This year we’re honoring Longfellows and The Olde Bryan Inn. These two restaurants, whose actions display their selfless compassion, combine to be the local business that most influenced or touched people of the Saratoga region. We extend heartfelt congratulations to Longfellows and The Olde Bryan Inn.

All who know these two restaurants are aware that, beyond their amazing food, they are remarkable for the great kindness they always show the needy in addition to being invariably ready to provide food and location for charitable events.

Come join us this Nov 29th to honor Longfellows & The Olde Bryan Inn and all the winners of Compassion Awards.…/2018-compassion-awards/

Watch tomorrow and for each of the next three days so you can send congratulations to next announced winner of the TGC Compassion Award.



The 3rd Announcement of TGC Compassion Award: Michael Christopher Orza

 The third winner announcement for the 2018 Giving Circle Compassion awards: TGC US-based Team Member whose Actions Internationally Displays the Embodiment of Compassion – congratulations Michael Christopher Orza , my brother who is always there for us and all we do He shows this commitment for all his causes. + His love for the children of all our projects is amazing; his love for his Veronica boundless. Quick example, whenever I arrive at the Koi Koi house all the kids come running for hugs and Veronica is the first to jump into my arms. But, when Michael is with me, she comes running certainly but right past me into her Michael’s arms. I am clearly second fiddle when Michael is with me.

Come join us this Nov 29th to honor Michael Christopher Orza and his boundless generosity as well all the winners of Compassion awards.…/2018-compassion-awards/ Please get your tickets now.

Watch tomorrow and for each of the next four days so you can send congratulations to the next winner of a Compassion Award.


It’s Thursday, Dinner’s On!

Thursday night street outreach dinner. Thanks to our friends at Abundant Life for providing the wonderful meal tonight. Lots of friends stopped by, even sweet lady Lynnie!

Thanks to Melissa, Patty Riggi, Jack and Jay for being there with the crew. Bummed I missed it!



The 2nd Announcement of TGC Compassion Award: Soul Saving Station

The second winner announcement for the 2018 Giving Circle Compassion awards: The Soul Saving Station for Local Non-Profit: A local charity, social club, faith-based organization or service group that has through selfless compassion most influenced or touched people of the Saratoga region. Congratulations to Rev Arnold and Lady Byrd and their Soul Saving Station.

Come join us this Nov 29th to honor the Byrd Family and their Soul Saving Station, along with all the winners of Compassion Awards.…/2018-compassion-awards/.

Watch tomorrow and for each the next five days for a congratulations to another Compassion Award winner.

A New Roof for the Garza Family

One year ago we were in Texas working on rebuilding homes. One belonged to the Garza family. When inspecting the house, at first I said no because it just looked too bad. A few hours later I returned to say we would do our very best. And we did. After a full day’s work using many fans to try and dry out the house out, we finished the gutting. We also did some rebuilding, installing new sheet rock, insulation, and new doors. With gift cards for the kids and new sneakers from a relative of Judy Fillmore, it felt like a new house. In addition to re-studding and some other rebuilding, we were left with the question of what to do about a roof that was already in poor shape but had been made a great deal worse by the storm.

We were told fixing the roof would cost $10,000.  FEMA told Sylvia they would pay $5,000; we gave her the remaining $5,000. As usual, TGCA was much faster than FEMA. But, at last, FEMA gave them the $5000 and the results can be seen below. 

Yesterday I checked in with the family. This was Sylvia Garza’s response: “Hi There! Yes sir, we definitely got the new roof and are 80% on the inside. Much grateful for that.  You were right about FEMA. With your help we were able to get a much needed total roof. I’ll take the pics this evening and send them your way. We are forever grateful for the help you and your group provided for us!”

Today she sent this message: “Hi Mark! Here are a couple of pictures of the new roof. May the Lord bless you and your crew for the help you provided when we were at our lowest. We will be forever in your debt!

Thank you,

Sylvia A. Garza”

Now have a look at that NEW safe dry roof.

ALL TOGETHER WE ARE THE GIVING CIRCLE. Nobody can do what we do, the way we do it!



Get Your Tickets Now: The Annual Giving Circle Compassion Awards

Save the date and get your tickets now for the Annual Giving Circle Compassion Awards. Today we’re happy to announce our wonderful Co- Chairs for the event. One, Cindy Murray-Phillips, is quite newly retired from a long dedicated career of service to the City of Saratoga Springs. The other is the much esteemed Jim Towne, Esq, who was last year’s winner of the Founders Award for a Life Time of Compassion.

Get your tickets today. You’ll have an evening with great, kind people and be offered really great food by Kim Klopstock’s Lily and the Rose.

Tomorrow we start announcing the award winners, one each day.…/2018-compassion-awards/

Come To The Gala


Enjoy good company, food, music, silent and
live auctions, and a cash bar.


6:30 – 9:30 pm



$100 ticket price

Several local organizations, businesses, and individuals will be honored for the contributions they have made to our community.



  • Local Individual Resident: KATHY MCNEICE
  • Founders Award: ED & LISA MITZEN
  • The Serge Shishik Memorial Local Team Member of the Year:KEVIN WHEELER
  • TGC Uganda-based Individual Member: ALIKOBA ELIZABETH


The Giving Circle is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that works locally, nationally, and internationally to improve the lives of those who are suffering. We have no paid staff so all funds raised go directly to families and communities in need.






Meanwhile in Afghanistan:


The Giving Circle’s three classroom addition is progressing very well. Thank you so much Dear Nagina and all who are working hard on the building.  The pictures give us an idea of what a fine job the builders are doing.

We are very sorry to report that, due to an attack in Kabul a month ago and the killing of 48 young ladies training to be teachers, we will be putting on hold the plan to sponsor young future female teachers for now, as we will not place 50 more girls in danger.…/kabul-suicide-blast-kills-at-…

We are 100% committed to our Afghan friends and are considering our next steps, we will help make a change in Afghanistan,