Make Sure Our Neighbors Don’t Have To Fight Challenges Alone


I was just talking to someone who had the flu multiple times this winter. Thinking of friends, family, colleagues and clients – I am thinking of loved ones with cancer, those recovering from surgeries, ones in the midst of stressful job searches and those I know caring for family members.

Often the answer to the question “How are you?” is like the Instagram pictures where all the clutter is shoved out of the way, behind the photographer. There is often more than meets the eye, more to go with the typical “fine” response.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. It could be stress, anxiety, illness, loss of a loved one, a recent argument or lack of sleep. Sometimes the battle is visible, but many times it is not. Be kind because you never know what is going on in someone’s life.

I am reminded of this by our clients at SPAN. We often know just a snapshot of what is going on in their lives. A client recently came for food, and through the course of our conversation, I learned that not only did she have the stress of food insecurity but also her daughter had recently passed away.

SPAN’s clients live in our community. Sometimes life’s struggles are huge, such as evictions, utility turnoffs and or being uncertain where meals will come from. There are people in the community who are dealing with health crises, difficult divorces, job loss and other emergencies. Because of SPAN’s donors, we are able to help with those battles.

All of us are fighting something; both the helpers and the helped have struggles. I am reminded of this when I listen to those around me. And I also get to see on a regular basis the people around me – volunteers, community members and clients – treating each other with kindness. I hear lots of gratitude and see many examples of people jumping in to help – by donating, lifting bags or giving their neighbors a ride.

We all need a shoulder to lean on at some point. Thank you for being part of that shoulder for our clients. SPAN was blessed with lots of food donations as part of the Good Neighbors Group’s seventh-annual S(o)uper Bowl food drive! The donated food goes a long way toward keeping our shelves filled.

Thank you also to the School of the Incarnation for its cereal drive, which replenished our supply for months. We look forward to the upcoming Scouting for Food drive. In addition to these larger donations, SPAN is able to help because of all the individuals who give bags of food and monetary donations – it adds up!

One of our main fundraisers for the year is our upcoming cabaret concert and silent auction benefit on April 21 at 4:00pm. Tickets and more information are available on our website. Thank you for all you do, being points of kindness and caring for those around us who are struggling.

SPAN (Serving People Across Neighborhoods) is an independent nonprofit food pantry and emergency services provider that has been helping local families with eviction prevention, utility turnoffs, medical/prescription bills, and food since 1990. SPAN serves 15 zip codes in Anne Arundel County. SPAN is located behind Our Shepherd Lutheran Church at 400 Benfield Road in Severna Park. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00am-1:30pm. For more information, call 410-647-0889, email or visit Financial donations may be made through the website. Food donations may be dropped off 24/7 using the storage bin behind SPAN’s building. Please “like” SPAN on Facebook!


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