Small Acts Of Kindness Help More Than You Know


By Ellen Kinsella
Director of Development, SPAN Inc.

“Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.” – Frank A. Clark

“Tasha” came to SPAN looking for financial assistance with a BGE turn-off notice. Sadly, her brother had died of hypothermia during the recent cold snap, and Tasha put all her available money into helping her family pay for a funeral for him. Her family members wanted a traditional burial with a viewing, which was expensive, and the funeral home required payment up front. Therefore, Tasha had no money left for her utilities. She was grateful for any assistance SPAN could offer, and she insisted that once she was on her feet, she was going to “pay it forward” for the next family who was in need.

Speaking of need, SPAN’s kitchen, which hasn’t been updated in over half a century, was badly in need of a facelift. Severna Park United Methodist Church’s VIM group (Volunteers in Mission) made our kitchen its winter mission project, and renovated it over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, adding beautiful new cabinets, shelves, flooring, counters, paint, a sink, and much more! It is truly gorgeous and much more functional than it previously was. We are grateful to this generous group, led by Francie and Carl Seaman. We’d love to give you a tour if you’d like to visit!

We were also the beneficiaries of another project by a local charity. The Good Neighbors Group, under the direction of Julie Shay, has conducted the S(o)uper Bowl Neighborhood Food Drive for the second year in a row, benefiting SPAN, ACAN and My Brother’s Pantry. Thanks to word of mouth, local media and the power of social media, the drive was once again wildly successful. To celebrate the fruitful completion of this event, and to learn who the “winning” neighborhood was, come to Café Mezzanotte for dinner on Wednesday, February 6. A portion of your bill that evening will be donated to Good Neighbors Group.

Many folks have inquired about what help SPAN offered to federal employees who were furloughed last month. We were happy to be able to help local families with food and financial assistance with utility cut-offs, court-ordered evictions, and medical co-pays. A special thanks to Dave Nocar of Federated Lighting for his generous donation to assist with furloughed government employees.

Keep your eyes open for upcoming events, including online auction baskets, a give-back day on April 5 at Chuck E. Cheese, and an exciting Broadway-style cabaret show on June 1 at the Woods Holy Grounds Youth Center, hosted by Severna Park’s own Laurette Hankins.

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SPAN (Serving People Across Neighborhoods) is a faith-based nonprofit food pantry and emergency services provider that has been helping local families with eviction prevention, utility turnoffs, prescription needs and food since 1990. SPAN serves Severna Park, Millersville, Arnold, Broadneck, and other surrounding areas. SPAN operates behind Our Shepherd Lutheran Church at 400 Benfield Road in Severna Park; Hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00am to 1:30pm. Call 410-647-0889, email or visit for more information. Financial donations may be made through the website. Food donations may be dropped off 24/7 using the storage bin behind the building.


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