All of us at A-SPAN are proud to announce that the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) awarded our volunteer Missy Snelling the 2010 “People Helping People” Community Service Award on July 28th. With her background in public relations, Missy devoted much of her time and energy this past year to helping A-SPAN publicize our return to managing the Arlington County Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) and the improvements we made. The result was A-SPAN and our clients being featured in several news articles in the Washington Post & the Sun Gazette, and in features on Fox-5, & WJLA-7.
She grew up in Fairfax and Washington, D.C. An arts lover, she received a B.F.A. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Missy then went to New York where she became a casting director for TV commercials and theater. She returned to Washington D.C. and began her career in public relations at the Smithsonian and then at Hillwood Museum & Gardens.
Missy also volunteered at least once a week at the shelter as a staff assistant. She became close with a client and helped him get a part-time job. At the time of Missy’s award, this client’s part-time job had become full-time. She also stood up and spoke on A-SPAN’s behalf at the County Board Budget Hearings in March. Missy hopes that the EWS will soon become a year-round shelter and that she “had a tiny part in that!”
What was your first volunteer experience?
I became a very active volunteer for the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign and then volunteered for Women for Women International, Martha’s Table, Food & Friends and most recently as a teacher’s assistant with REEP,Arlington’s ESL program.
Why did you start volunteering at A-SPAN?
I became drawn to A-SPAN at a difficult time for me. However, I saw the truly tragic situation of the homeless here in my community and felt I had to help. I began volunteering with A-SPAN last October, and the most important lesson it has taught me is that by helping others, I realized how blessed I am.
What is your favorite thing about being a volunteer here?
My favorite things about volunteering are the clients and working with Olivia Payton, Art Baltrym, Lenora Johns and the other staff from A-SPAN.
Why would you encourage other people to volunteer at A-SPAN?
Volunteering is face to face with the clients and being hands on, and always a new experience each week! I love using my public relations skills in helping A-SPAN and the clients, as it results in more community awareness as A-SPAN is featured on TV and in the newspapers.