Volunteer Spotlight: A Pair of Jeans
The Family Service Award was given at Arlington Cares this year to a family who has made caring and volunteerism a core value. The first recipients of this award were self described as “a pair of jeans!” - Gene and Jeanie Cross were celebrated for their work with their faith community, Central United Methodist Church and A-SPAN.
Gene and Jeanie Cross and Central United Methodist Church (CUMC) in Ballston have created a weekly outreach program that serves over 100 neighbors in need each week. For the past 8 years, every Friday from 6:00 am to Noon, CUMC opens their doors to anyone in the community, including many A-SPAN clients, for open fellowship that includes free home cooked meals and much-needed outreach services.
Both Gene and Jeanie are tireless advocates of those in need, providing friendship and kindness in a judgement free zone. No project or undertaking is off limits. They both scrub dirty pots and pans at the church, can cook up the most delicious chicken dumplings ever served, carry a bed frame into the bedroom of a new home of someone moving from homelessness to a home, or counsel a woman on how to dress for a job interview. An A-SPAN employee heard a man going through the meal service line at Central United Methodist Church saying to Gene and Jeanie that …..”you gave me back the smile that I once lost”.
Thanks for caring, Gene and Jeanie!