Amber Coffman of Glen BurnieVolunteer Work: Amber, a...


December 26, 1993|By Kevin Harrison

Amber Coffman of Glen Burnie

Volunteer Work: Amber, a sixth-grade student at Old Mill Middle School in Millersville, demonstrates that volunteers come in all ages. Although just 11, she organized the Happy Helpers For the Homeless last March.

Every Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m., Amber and other young volunteers gather at her apartment in Glen Burnie and put together lunches of sandwiches, fruits, pastries and a drink. Her mother takes them to the Glen Burnie Salvation Army Office by 1 p.m. to be handed out to area homeless and needy.

Leftover lunches are taken to Simple Sacrifice, a group in Severn. There they are refrigerated for the next day, when they are taken to Baltimore and given out.

Ms. Coffman says, "It's not always easy, sometimes it's a sacrifice, but we do it no matter what because it means so much to people who get the help."

Volunteer's Remarks: Amber says she was inspired to do something for the needy after reading a book about Mother Theresa.

"I was doing a book report on Mother Theresa, and that was when my mother and I were working at Sarah's House," she says. "At Sarah's House, we worked in the donation room and helped watch the kids when the parents went to class.

"At the National Princess Pageant in Florida, I won the National Judges Award, because they were so inspired by the work I did in the community. I also won the essay contest there, which was about Happy Helpers."

Amber says of her mother, "She's very supportive of everything I do and never lets me down."

According to Ms. Coffman, "We almost became homeless once. It was scary. Amber's work demonstrates that people anywhere can do something to help out a bad situation. Amber's goal is to get other areas to start a Happy Helpers in their community."

About the volunteer: Amber is no stranger to volunteering. She and her mother have done volunteer work for Sarah's House, a county shelter for women and children. She also volunteers for Adopt-a-Grand Parent and the Kidney Foundation.

She is active in school as a Student Government representative and a member of the Builder's Club. She works at the school store and has been a a Girl Scout for four years.

About the group: Happy Helpers can always use volunteers. "All the people say they enjoy it after helping out," Ms. Coffman says.

Youth ages 6 to 19, or anyone wishing to make a donation to help purchase food, should call 766-4973.

"Volunteer Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To recommend someone, call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911, any time or fax information to 315-8916 or mail them to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Md. 21122.

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