With Your Help, SPAN Continues To Meet The Growing Need For Assistance


I spent time in April with a friend in the hospital. I see her village gathering around and I keep reflecting on how life is better with friends. I am reminded of the same thing when I am at work and am surrounded by both our dedicated volunteers and with community members who keep stepping up to contribute - keeping our shelves filled and SPAN fiscally able to continue to meet the need for emergency financial assistance.

It is wonderful to regularly see people doing things for others. I arrived at work after Easter, and was greeted by a pile of toilet paper, diapers and other paper products. A local teen had organized an Easter “cottontail” themed drive in his neighborhood. Later that day, Girl Scout Troop 11414 delivered several boxes of condiments; the little extras such as these and basic spices make a big difference.

Thanks to members from four churches — Our Lady of the Fields, Trinity Bible Church, Asbury United Methodist and St. Martin’s-in-the-Field Episcopal Church — we were able to bless more than 70 families with food for an Easter meal and other fun treats.

Life is better when we are there for each other. I am reminded of this daily with the people who show up here to help their neighbors – whether dropping off food, showing up to volunteer or giving a neighbor a ride to get the needed assistance.

We are still busy with clients coming for financial assistance to help them through an emergency – a utility turnoff, court-ordered eviction or the need for a medical prescription. Typically, SPAN provides about $100,000 in emergency financial assistance per year. In just the first six months of Fiscal Year 2023, SPAN already helped with more than that amount. The trend continues with an increase in the number of clients for financial assistance each month. Before the fiscal year ends, SPAN will have provided more than double the amount of financial aid we typically do in a year.

Just as we have seen the need for emergency financial assistance at high levels, other organizations are seeing the same trends. We sometimes get inquiries about donating items other than food or toiletries. Hope for All is a great local organization that provides household items, clothing and furniture to those without the means for their basic needs. They are especially in need of clean and in-good-condition sheets, towels, blankets and kitchen items such as utensils, flatware, pots, pans and bowls.

Let’s celebrate the warmer weather and this great community of neighbors! Join us for a fun evening to benefit SPAN – on Saturday June 17, Laurette Hankins-O’Connell will perform a cabaret concert: “Musicals, Movies and Moxie – Oh My!” She and her pianist/duet singer Anita O’Connor are once again contributing their talents for SPAN and will perform a salute to Broadway musicals of the 20th century. They will showcase their talents at Boone Station Hall in the Severna Park Community Center. Tickets are $25 each and should be purchased in advance; information can be found on our website and social media. We will also have a silent auction.

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-1:30pm. For more information, 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 SPAN’s building. Please “like” SPAN on Facebook!


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