Life Isn’t Fair

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"Janell" is being evicted because she owes several thousand dollars of back rent. She thought her husband, “Jerry,” had been paying it, but he took their money and ran off. To make matters worse, their teenage son is in the hospital with terminal cancer. Jerry has been working, but he gets paid under the table, meaning it would be difficult to garnish his wages, even if Janell could find the time and money to hire an attorney. Sometimes life is just not fair.

At SPAN, we don’t just help people living under the poverty level. We help those who are in an emergency situation. For example, a family with dual incomes, where the parents are both college-educated, will struggle to pay their bills if one of them gets laid off. Many people don’t have family members to rely upon for assistance. A recent USA Today article reported that “40% of US adults don’t have enough savings to cover a mere $400 emergency.” Furthermore, “The average U.S. savings account contains $16,420, while the median savings account balance across American households is $4,830.” Many families have less than that, simply because they use all of their income for basic living expenses.

Every day SPAN is open, we help people through crises, whether they be caused by job layoffs, car accidents, illness, divorce, or another unexpected life event.

When people ask how they can help SPAN, they usually first think of donating food. While we always have a need for food, monetary donations are also needed to help clients with utility shutoffs, eviction prevention and medical bills. You can donate through PayPal (spanhelps@yahoo.com) or through our website (www.spanhelps.org). No amount is too small. And, of course, your donation is tax-deductible.

Exciting events coming up: SPAN will have a table at the Shop Local Fun Fiesta on May 4 at Park Plaza. Bring a cash or food donation and get a free photo booth session with Free State Photo Booth, run by Katrina Williams. Come see our Broadway-style cabaret show on June 1 at the Holy Grounds Youth Center next to the community center, featuring Severna Park’s own Laurette Hankins-O’Connell, and her pianist accompanist, Anita O’Connor. Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance. Space is limited; all seats are general admission. You may pay via PayPal to spanhelps@yahoo.com. In the message section, state that your payment is for the show, and indicate how many seats you want. You may also mail a check to SPAN, 400 Benfield Road, Severna Park, MD 21146, or deliver it in person Monday through Thursday between 10:00am and 2:00pm. Concessions and wine will be available for cash-only purchase. Silent auction items will be available and are currently being sought. If you have questions, email spanhelps@yahoo.com.

Save the date: SPAN’s annual fundraiser, our Turkey Trot 5K/1M race at Kinder Park, will be held on Saturday, November 16. Registration is now open on www.active.com. Sponsorships are available.

Follow us on Facebook, and visit our website at www.spanhelps.org.

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 is located behind Our Shepherd Lutheran Church at 400 Benfield Road. Hours are Monday through Thursday 10:00am-1:30pm. Call 410-647-0889, email spanhelps@yahoo.com or visit www.spanhelps.org. 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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