APG contracting command volunteers at Harford County homeless shelter

Joseph Thomas (left) shares a light-hearted moment with Maj. Seth B. Nason, both from the Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground, while making sandwiches at a homeless shelter in Belcamp, Maryland in August 2016. | U.S. Army photo by Betsy Kozak-Howard, ACC-APG
By BETSY KOZAK-HOWARD, Army Contracting Command-APG

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Four Army Contracting Command – APG personnel volunteered their time to support a local homeless shelter in August.

Two military members from the 926th Contracting Battalion, Maj. Seth B. Nason and Master Sgt. Kayann Brown, and two civilian employees, Tyce L. Rucks and Joseph D. Thomas, prepared meals for the residents of the Welcome One Emergency Shelter in Belcamp.

“We wanted to give back to the community and at the same time, put a positive face on ACC,” said Brown, organizer of the event.

Tyce Rucks, a contract specialist with the Army Contracting Command – APG, preps for making sandwiches while volunteering at the Welcome One Homeless Shelter in Belcamp, Maryland in August 2016. // U.S. Army photo by Betsy Kozak-Howard, Army Contracting Command - APG.
Tyce Rucks, a contract specialist with the Army Contracting Command – APG, preps for making sandwiches while volunteering at
the Welcome One Homeless Shelter in Belcamp, Maryland in August 2016. | U.S. Army photo by Betsy Kozak-Howard, ACC-APG.

The team met at the shelter at 5 p.m. to begin preparing bagged lunches for the shelter residents. Rucks coached the team through the meal preparation since she previously volunteered at the shelter with her church.

“The shelter residents do not stay in the facility during the day,” Rucks explained. “We are responsible for preparing the evening meal and a sack lunch for each person to take for the next day.”

According to Rucks, the original plan was to grill outside, but the weather changed their plans and the team purchased pizzas instead. Funding for the pizzas was donated by members of ACC-APG. The volunteers formed an assembly line inside the shelter kitchen, preparing bologna and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Each sack lunch consisted of two sandwiches, fruit, and pretzels, which were refrigerated for the next day distribution.

Prior to serving the pizzas for the prompt 6 p.m. meal, the team met with the shelter residents in the dining room and introduced themselves as ACC-APG employees. Rucks offered a blessing and then they retreated back to the kitchen to begin serving pizza with a drink and dessert. The evening ended with kitchen clean-up and bidding farewell to the staff and residents of the shelter.