Are You OK?

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Virtually no family has been left untouched by COVID-19. Even if you have not contracted the virus, you have no doubt been affected in other ways. Perhaps a family member or friend is sick and you cannot visit him or her. Maybe you lost your job or had your hours cut back. Maybe you’re staying in isolation and having a hard time getting needed food or other supplies. Most likely you have experienced some degree of anxiety or depression caused by social seclusion.

If you are suffering any type of feelings of hopelessness or desperation, you are not alone; please reach out for help. There are agencies designed to assist you without any physical contact. Visit www.namiacc.org to get a list of resources.

For local families who are not able to get enough food to eat, pay their utilities, or pay their rent or prescription costs, SPAN is here to help. Please call 410-647-0889 between 10:00am and 1:00pm Monday through Thursday to see if you are eligible for food or financial assistance. In some cases, SPAN can even give assistance without you ever having to leave your home. We are committed to helping local families in need, and we have stayed open during the entire pandemic.

SPAN has been incredibly blessed with generous community members who have been keeping the donations coming in, so we can assist families to the same degree as always. In some cases, we have even been able to increase our maximum benefit. Thanks to former SPAN board member Trish Davis and her husband, Mike, we had a matching-funds fundraiser during the month of September, where donations up to $5,000 were matched by them. However, the need is great, and will likely increase, so we still encourage donations if you are able!

SPAN is still conducting its annual Holiday Caring program so we can bring the magic of the holiday season into our clients’ homes. For many years, we have provided families with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, as well as gifts for their children, all thanks to the generosity of our donors. However, due to the uncertainty we are facing, SPAN’s Holiday Caring program will be modified this year. Although our collection and distribution of meals and gifts will look different this season, we are still excited to provide holiday assistance to our families in need.

For Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner sponsors, please consider donating a $50 grocery gift card from any local grocery store. These gift cards will go directly to our families in need, allowing them to purchase their own holiday meal. For Christmas gift sponsors, please consider donating Target, Walmart or Visa gift cards in $50 increments, as we typically suggest that our sponsors spend $50 per child. These gift cards will also go directly to our client families, providing them with the assistance they need to make sure their children have gifts to open on Christmas Day. We plan to distribute all gift cards during the month of November.

If you would like to be a Holiday Caring sponsor, please email spanhelps@yahoo.com, so we can send you a sponsor form.

Until next time, please stay safe, wear your mask and don’t forget to vote!

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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