Run for the Circle of Love

You can help this Hoover foundation show practical care to children in our community.

All ages can walk or run The Circle of Love 5K on Saturday, March 19 at 9:00 a.m. at Veterans Park in Hoover, Alabama.

Q: What is Circle of Love and what type of work do they do in Birmingham?

A: The Circle of Love Foundation, nonprofit 501(c)(3), has been garnering awareness, providing support, and giving hope to children in need since 2004. The Circle of Love has touched the lives of more than 9,000 children. The foundation is based in Hoover and focuses on giving children the gift of hope. We strive to bring awareness to crises facing children and their families in the Birmingham area. Other fundraisers we host are the back-to-school drive and a Christmas toy drive. The foundation collected a record number of backpacks and Christmas gifts in 2022 (nearly 500 backpacks and Christmas gifts to 700 children). These items went to children living in area shelters and others in need.

Q: When and why was it founded?

A: Doris Phillips, our founder and president, created the charity out of a personal promise she made as a child. She is president of RealSource Title Insurance and Real Estate Closings and COO of Lake Homes Realty, but Doris grew up in poverty outside Birmingham. At age nine, she cut grass to take care of a few needs of her siblings. As a single mom at 16, she worked multiple jobs to feed her child. Education was not an option. Fast-forward years later, Doris learned from the school of hard knocks and is a professional success in real estate. She founded The Circle of Love Foundation in 2004 to provide children in need with school supplies to be successful. Doris knows the deep pain of being forgotten and is committed to preventing it from happening to other children, as well as helping children believe their ideas are real possibilities. The Circle of Love Foundation has touched more than 8,000 children in several shelters and facilities who would have otherwise gone without basic school supplies or opening gifts on Christmas morning. “Every penny given is a penny donated,” she says.

Q: What is the meaning behind the name?

A: We want every child to be remembered and have the items needed for a pathway to success. By circling around these children and helping protect them, we bring them hope. All of this is summed up by the simple phrase: The Circle of Love.

Circle of Love volunteers and staff members pack backpacks full of school supplies for children in need throughout Central Alabama.

Q: What are some of the foundation’s ongoing projects?

A: The Circle of Love Foundation Backpack for Success effort provides school supplies to children in area shelters and others in need so they will have the tools needed for the path to success. With the rise in school supply costs and an increased need anticipated, The Circle of

Love Foundation set a goal of providing 500 backpacks filled with the needed school supplies, a 70 percent increase from the 2021 campaign. These goals were reached. For Christmas, The Circle of Love Foundation set a goal of providing Christmas presents to 500 children mainly in Central Alabama but also in parts of Virginia and Tennessee where RealSource has offices. Thanks to the generosity of more than 120 companies, approximately 700 children were given at least five Christmas presents last year.

Q: What shelters does Circle of Love support?

A: In Central Alabama, the foundation gives backpacks filled with school supplies and, later, Christmas gifts to children at First Light, Grace House, Jessie’s Place, the Lovelady Center, Olivia’s House, and others in need. Through the generosity of the community, more and more children are helped each year. The Backpacks for Success effort helps to prevent children from showing up on the first day of class without the supplies they need to begin school successfully. The Christmas Toy Drive helps ensure children are remembered at a special time of year, despite what they may be going through. We help deliver a sense of hope, which may be the best gift of all.

Q: How can the community help?

A: People can be as involved as they want to be. Our website has ways for people to purchase school supplies or Christmas presents, make a financial donation, or become more actively involved by participating in the upcoming 5K or sorting school supplies and Christmas gifts. We love for families to volunteer together while making a significant difference.

Q: Tell us more about the 5K fundraiser in March.

A: The Circle of Love Foundation will be hosting its second-annual 5k fundraiser at Veterans Park in Hoover on Saturday, March 18, to help children in area shelters throughout Central Alabama. The 5k is for all ages and fitness levels. Sponsored by Regions, participants will be able to run or walk The Circle of Love 5K. The race starts at 9 a.m. at Veterans Park (4800 Valleydale Road, adjacent to Spain Park High School). The event fee for participation is $35 and registration is online ( Proceeds from the event will pay for donations of backpacks filled with school supplies and other necessities for children in local shelters and others in need. The Trak Shak will be overseeing race logistics again this year. We are delighted to have Regions as our primary sponsor and appreciate their emphasis on education readiness. Our missions definitely align.

For more information and to sign up for the 5k, visit


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