Youth Are Giving Back In Meaningful Ways


Some preschool-aged children recently delivered food donations that they had collected in their neighborhood. On another day, a teen came to our door with a bag of toiletries that her grandmother asked her to donate. I love the intentionality when families involve their children in giving back.

Although our regular hours overlap with school, there are plenty of ways that youth contribute in meaningful ways to SPAN. We have many who, through their scout groups, youth groups or on their own, have done a food collection for SPAN or put together birthday or other types of snack bags. We have lots of students who create beautiful and inspirational cards that we include with the food. We have students who help at our community events such as the Fourth of July parade. Our annual Turkey Trot 5K fundraiser is a way for youth to contribute both in the planning and participating.

It is great to see youth giving back. There are lots of ways we encourage this in our children – some of the best methods are to model and to provide opportunities.


“Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate.” – Anonymous


I love to see families show up together, bringing produce from their garden, or eggs from their chickens to donate. It is wonderful how many families choose to work as a family to put together the meals and gifts for families in our Holiday Caring program. At Easter, we could see evidence of family involvement with the sets of meal boxes beautifully decorated with stickers and drawings. With the many donations we receive, I know there are many parents out there giving their children great habits to imitate – picking up a few extra items for others when at the grocery store or bringing items to the SPAN collection boxes at their churches, the Severna Park Library or the Severna Park Community Center.

All of the youth who contribute to SPAN are great reminders for me of how much children contribute and what great role models they have. Thank you all!

On another note, if you are an adult looking for a volunteer opportunity on the front lines, we are looking for additional volunteers to work as interviewers with our clients. Our interviewers assist people who need food or financial help. There is a training process involved. It can be quite fulfilling because the interviewers are directly involved with people in need.

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 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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