Starting The New Year With Thankfulness

SPAN Director Reflects on Community's Generosity


“When the song of the angels is stilled, When the star in the sky is gone, When the kings and princes are home, When the shepherds are back with their flock, The work of Christmas begins: …To find the lost, To heal the broken, To feed the hungry, To release the prisoner, To rebuild the nations, To bring peace among brothers, To make music in the heart.”
-Howard Thurman

I am writing this article as we start the new year with cold, dark days filled with snow, rain and the relentless backdrop of COVID. My family knows that I like waiting to take our outside lights down. It is not just a means of procrastination, but even after Christmas is over, I like the lights to help us on the darkest days and as a reminder of Christmas and the work that needs to continue. Working at SPAN, I am constantly reminded, especially during the holiday season, of this community’s generosity and love for others. I am reflecting on that strong commitment to others, and I love having that as a launching point as we start into this new year.

So many people and groups have donated money and gifts these last couple of months; there are many more than I can name. Thanks to our generous community, SPAN’s Holiday Caring program provided close to 150 families with food for Thanksgiving dinner and over 170 families with food and Christmas gifts for their 377 children. So many made this all possible, from businesses such as Emidio Vincenzo Escape Salon and LaBarge Financial, to schools and community groups such as Girl Scout Troop 2120 and Edinboro Early School.

We are thankful for all of our member churches for their regular pledges and many of which, such as Severna Park United Methodist Church, Woods Memorial Presbyterian and Baldwin United Methodist Church, sponsored many families. We are also thankful for our volunteers, who are essential in making this all happen, working many hours and sometimes even coming in over the weekends.

We are extremely grateful for all who keep our pantry and bank account filled including School of the Incarnation, which delivered a pickup truck full of cereal boxes! There was also a generous community member who stopped by to ask me what we needed most and then a couple of days later, Amazon boxes started arriving! We are definitely thankful for all of the neighborhood groups, which are a big part of our shelves staying filled; examples include Dunfer Hill Road, Pondview community and Point Field Landing in Millersville. We are blessed and grateful for all the donations. We regularly get to hear the gratitude from our clients. You have helped so many. Our clients, some almost in tears, thank you!

From seeing this community in action, it is clear to me that we are ready to do and continue to do the work of Christmas! I look forward to the year ahead and the actions that we all will take to make things better for those around us!

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 14 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-12:45pm. 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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