Bob Kelter has had a lot of interaction with SPAN since 1991. As a staff pharmacist at Park Pharmacy, Bob dealt with request for client’s prescription and medical needs and knew the frustration our volunteers felt trying to read the prescriptions, and wanted to help. For over 13 years, Bob has given of his time and talent helping our neighbors in need. As an interviewer, Bob’s calming and caring demeanor has helped many clients understand the process to obtain financial assistance.
“Over the years I have seen many changes to SPAN, but the mission has remained the same – Helping our neighbors! In recent years, with empty nest and my retirement from Park Pharmacy, I have been able to spend a few more days at SPAN. I enjoy the work and count so many staff members volunteers as friends. It means so much to me to be able to make a difference in someone’s life”.
Gwen Hoyt was first drawn to SPAN through an announcement in her church bulletin. She has been on SPAN’s Board of Directors, representing Baldwin Memorial United Methodist Church, an Interviewer, and served on various SPAN committees, for over 13 years. Gwen is no stranger to the Human Services field. She was Chairperson of the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services Board of Directors. She continues to volunteer at the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services and at Sara’s House.
Gwen graduated from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology and continued with post-graduate studies in Human Resources Administration at George Washington University. During her career at the National Security Agency, Gwen was the senior representative at the Department of State, and Associate Deputy Director for Support Services.
“Since the beginning, Gwen said, I have found that volunteering at SPAN is an extremely worthwhile and very fulfilling. SPAN provides me an opportunity to provide hands-on assistance to members of the community who need help. An added benefit is working with and learning from the other volunteers and the SPAN staff”.
Trish Davis has been a volunteer interviewer at SPAN for over 14 years. She is serving her second year as Vice President of the SPAN Board of Directors and serves on the SPAN Review Committee. After ending her social work career, she wanted to volunteer in a community based organization and felt that SPAN was providing much needed services to families in need. “I feel that this is a way that I can help SPAN ensure that the mission of the organization continues to grow in an efficient and professional way. I greatly enjoy working with the staff and dedicated volunteers at SPAN.”
Since moving to Severna Park in 1982 Trish has been an active volunteer in the community working in her sons’ schools and on the board of Olde Severna Park Community Association, serving as treasurer and president. She has also worked to raise awareness of environmental issues in the area and serves as the Oyster Gardening coordinator in her current neighborhood, Round Bay. She is married with 2 grown sons and is a member of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Karen Williams, Senior Systems Consultant, was SPAN’s Treasurer on January 2013-October 2014. For over 30 years Karen has been involved in finance and accounting management roles with expertise in numerous industries, including universities and a variety of businesses. Her experience also includes accounting and finance policy and procedure creation, and she has engaged in accounting for non-profit organizations. Since 2013, she has had her own business, Browndogs, L.L.C., acting as the Controller/CFO for a number of clients and providing all aspects of accounting and financial management. Karen joined the SPAN Board as a volunteer, she said, because she wants a chance to give back.
A long time resident of Severna Park, Karen is married with 5 children— (2 of whom are serving in the U.S. Army). She is a member of Bay Area Community Church, one of SPAN’s 13 partner churches. SPAN welcomes Karen and thanks her for her service.
Reports in the media suggest that the economy is improving, but this is not the case for the clients who come to SPAN. Many of our clients are living paycheck to paycheck and just one event, such as a needed car repair or an illness, can be financially devastating. The clients that come to SPAN are facing eviction or utility turn-off, are in need of assistance with medical expenses or prescriptions, or are in need of food for their family.
However, through the generosity of our donors and volunteers, SPAN is able to assist our neighbors in need. Volunteers are the heart of SPAN. Volunteers interview our clients and provide assistance, pick up donated food in the community, stock our pantry shelves, assist with special programs, and serve on various SPAN committees including the SPAN Board of Directors. SPAN volunteers are women and men of all ages and backgrounds, who bring with them various strengths and talents. Some are new to SPAN and some have been volunteering for over 20 years. One thing they all have in common is they are compassionate, caring individuals with a genuine concern for our SPAN clients. I am extremely privileged to work with such a dedicated group of people. Together we are making a difference everyday!
The four letters in our name—S-P-A-N—which now stand for “Serving People Across Neighborhoods,” represent not only our mission but also the love, kindness, compassion, and generosity of our staff and volunteers, our member churches, and the people of the surrounding communities who give of themselves and their resources so that SPAN may give to neighbors in crisis. Those of us who work for and with SPAN are proud of our organization; daily we are inspired to do as much as we can to contribute to the relief, strength, hope, and well being of fellow human beings.
Debbie was SPAN’s Executive Board of Directors Secretary-February 1997-May 2014.
SPAN – such a short acronym for such a wonderful organization. We are blessed to be an organization that helps people in need. People are at their most vulnerable times in their lives when they come to SPAN. The volunteers at SPAN greet them with respect and a willingness to help. Through the years, I have watched some of the volunteers’ lives be touched by the people we serve. Each day holds similarities, but each day is totally different. A SPAN volunteer never knows who will walk through that door. Being on the Executive Board and ultimately on the SPAN Board has afforded me the opportunity to see the organization as a whole. Serving over ten years, I have seen SPAN blossom into a thriving help organization and that could not have happened without the support of the churches and the greater community. We are blessed by the people on the Board and the churches they represent; we are blessed with a group of dedicated volunteers who work under the excellent leadership of our Director and Associate Director. Every day SPAN’s staff deal with many unique and sometimes overwhelming challenge; but they are always reassuring and nurturing and work extensively to get a full understanding of the client’s problem. Our volunteers never falter, they never give up, and with the endless effort of our volunteers – SPAN is making- A DIFFERENCE TODAY THAT WILL LAST FOR MANY TOMORROWS