Photo by Shirley Ruhe/The Connection
“You are always serving food; tonight I’m feeding you.” Anna Kaminski, volunteer specialist and VISTA volunteer at A-SPAN, offers cheese puffs at Willow Restaurant to Gene and Jean Cross at the A-SPAN quarterly event to thank the volunteers for their support and enthusiasm in reaching out to the street homeless and newly housed. The Crosses have been serving food and encouraging networking from 8:30-noon at Central United Methodist Church in Arlington every Friday morning “forever,” according to Gene Cross. Scott Miller, senior director of development, estimates there are 15,000 volunteer hours each year including preparing homeless bagged meals, providing shelter monitoring and overnight shifts, working at Opportunity House. In 2013 A-SPAN provided services to 1,011 homeless individuals. A-SPAN is one of three finalists for the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Non-Profit Management "and the only Virginia-based organization in the running,” according to Miller. The award is for behind-the-scenes management and will be presented May 25.