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Arnold veteran serves community through volunteerism; Around Broadneck; Haunted Trail
Capital - 10/22/2018
Sgt. Jody Allen first served his country in the Army, and now he serves as a volunteer in the community.
The Arnold resident makes a large time commitment to Bello Machre, a Glen Burnie nonprofit that provides care for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Allen also gives volunteer support to The Maryland Food Bank, The Salvation Army, Anne Arundel County Winter Relief Program, and The Red Cross - totaling over 100 hours total service since May of 2016.
He has volunteered with Bello Machre for over two years, through his company, Skyline Technology Solutions Inc. and on his own. Allen volunteers with their two largest fundraisers each year, Every Step Counts (a walk/bike/5K held each June), and the annual golf tournament.
This year, he joined the event planning committee. Michele Marshall, manager of outreach and volunteer services for Bello Machre, said there is no job too small or too large for Allen.
"Jody is willing to take on any task to help - and always with a smile and amazing attitude," Marshall said.
Allen said he was first drawn to volunteerism when serving in the Army at Fort Bragg, N.C. As a staff sergeant, he oversaw 80 soldiers, and for over two years, led them in volunteer efforts in the local community.
They supported local schools during events such as field days, and with mundane but necessary tasks such as moving equipment, classrooms, and even the contents of a school. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids, teachers, and staff, as well as the soldiers "getting something out of it" gave him "a joy" that carried over to volunteering today.
When Allen was first employed at Skyline, he met Katherine, a fellow employee who receives services from Bello Machre. He got to know her, and when he found out his company provides 40 hours of volunteer service for their employees, he was drawn to the organization.
He says the "atmosphere, personal, and big changes provided in the lives of their clients" is one of the things that drove him to volunteer above and beyond the 40 hours encouraged by his company.
"Jody Allen is one of the first people I think of when it is time to begin event planning each year," Marshall said. "His enthusiasm and ongoing efforts to support our mission of providing a lifetime commitment of loving care for children and adults with developmental disabilities in Maryland is simply awesome.
"We are so appreciative of this opportunity to shine a light on his service to the community."
Allen says he knows it sounds clichéd, but he is driven by a "desire to serve."
The Mago Vista Haunted Trail will be back this year Oct. 26, 27 and 31 from dusk until approximately 11 p.m. The trail is free, but donations for C.O.P.S. Concerns of Police Survivors - nationalcops.org.are accepted.
Last year, over $1,500 was raised.
Trunk or Treat
Mago Vista Area Civic Association's First Trunk or Treat will take place at Mago Vista Park Saturday, 3-5 pm. There will be trick or treating, a costume contest and free candy. All are welcome.
Maureen Thomas can be reached at email@example.com.
Credit: Maureen Thomas - Maureen Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption: Jody Allen (far right) volunteering at the Bello Machre golf tournament.
courtesy of Bello Machre