CEC Outreach News: April 17, 2021


DreamBuilders is Building Portable Desks Again!

Our portable desks continue to be very popular with local students, and the schools and student support groups have been clamoring for more. We will be building another 120-or-so desks to be given away to identified students on consecutive Saturdays: April 24th and May 1st.

The process will be the same as in the past — the work will be divided into socially-distanced work stations, and carried out by many small teams of family and friends, wearing masks. All work stations will be outside, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Highland. We have lots of jobs for all skill levels, and training will be provided. If you are interested in joining this fun and worthy effort, you can sign up on our website: dreambuildersmd.org. Look for the heading “portable desk project”. If you have questions, contact Cathy Gold or Stacey Frith, or email info@christchurchcolumbia.org.




Save the Dates, and Whet your Appetites, for Bridges' Takeout & Housing Celebration

Bridges to Housing Stability is inviting supporters to an online celebration and a related fundraiser as it honors people who have made significant contributions to its mission. The goal of the nonprofit organization is preventing and ending homelessness in Howard County.

Bridges invites you to attend the live virtual event on Monday, April 26, from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Click this link to register for Heroes for Housing. Registration is free but required. Well beforehand, plan to order takeout to enjoy during the event from the participating restaurant: Victoria Gastro Pub, 8201 Snowden River Pkwy, Ellicott City. A portion of the food ($65 each) and drink receipts go to Bridges. See a menu and order at this link by Thursday, April 22nd. Pickup is on April 26th from 3:30 to 6 p.m Place your order soon to ensure a pickup time (slots are limited).

Christ Church has a warm relationship with Bridges that dates to 2019, when we participated in its countywide chili cook-off, Holier Than Thou. Parishioner James Collins, a Bridges board member, was master of ceremonies. That fundraising and camaraderie was surpassed during our own cook-off in February 2020, which raised $1,000. And that, in turn, led to Christ Church winning a Silver Ladle Award during the Chili & Challenge virtual fundraiser last fall.




Join Us Monday, April 19 to Help Feed the Hungry at Grassroots

It will soon be the third Monday of the month and parishioners are looking forward to hands-on volunteerism. Please consider preparing a side dish or dessert for the monthly meal that we provide for 50 residents of Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center‘s live-in facility. You can also bring pantry items such as granola bars.

On Monday, April 19th, please plan to arrive between 3:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. outside Old Brick. Also please sign up online no later than noon on Sunday, April 18, so coordinators will know what you plan to bring. Click into the Christ Church Grassroots Meal link on SignUpGenius to learn which items are still open on our menu. We welcome additional participants — and the resulting side dishes, desserts, and fruits — to complement our main course.

Due to coronavirus concerns, be sure to mask up and practice social distancing whether or not you have been vaccinated. The items drop-off continues to be outdoors. Co-coordinator Nancy Winchester acquires fried chicken at Weis and meets the other volunteers as they enter the Christ Church parking lot. Nancy then transports the food to Freetown Road for handoff to the staff of Grassroots.

Save the dates for the subsequent meals, which will be on May 17th and June 21st. The time and place remain the same, and please arrive no later than 3:30 p.m. because the departure for Grassroots is prompt. You’ll find lots of information at the sign-up link, but for questions contact Nancy or co-coordinator Shahra Toth or email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.

To further help our neighbors in need, some parishioners take it upon themselves to provide the evening meal for the 50 adults and children. Here is a link to the sign-up list which has openings through June 30th. It’s your choice to provide an entree and side dishes, or just the entree. You can cook in your own kitchen, or order out. Grassroots encourages an order of 12 pizzas -- four with cheese and the rest with meat (any kind), or rotisserie chickens (12 to make a meal), but discourages lasagna or other pasta entrees.



Grassroots Offers Training in April in QPR Skills to Help Prevent Suicides

Once again, Grassroots offers Howard County residents, employees, or students a chance to learn skills that could help save a life from suicide. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save lives, just as individuals trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver learn what to do. Thanks to the Horizon Foundation, the online seminar is free for adults on three days this month. The QPR sessions take place on Saturday, April 17th from 10 to 11:30 a.m., on Monday, April 26th from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and on Friday, April 30th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. To register, go here; To learn more, email amanda@grassrootscrisis.org to speak with Amanda Ganoe, organizer.




Collection Drive Continues to Provide Diapers, Personal Care Items for CCC

At Christ Church, our Racially Aware Group of Episcopalians (R.A.G.E) and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to support Columbia Community Care (CCC). So far we have been collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items and we’re now passing along a request for a few adult diapers such as Depends. Please put any of these items in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” just inside the Parish Hall door. You can drop off items on weekdays until 2 p.m., but we ask that you call the church office (410) 381-9365 ahead of time.




Donate Spring Cleaning Supplies for FISH in its Yellow Bin

Organizers for FISH of Howard County request household cleaning supplies such as liquid dish soap, bleach, and cleanser. Also the families who call on FISH during times of crisis could use personal items such as deodorant, shampoo and bath soaps. At the present time, the pantry has an adequate supply of groceries.



African Team Ministries Sale - April 25th & May 2nd

African Team Ministries is coming back to Christ Church just in time for Mother's Day! We missed our originally scheduled sale in 2020 since we could not gather in person at the time, so we expect to now offer wonderful ATM goods on the 25th of April and 2nd of May, after each service. Hand-crafted jewelry, wooden and soapstone carvings, nativity sets, and other fashion accessories will be on display and for sale. African Team Ministries is a Christian ministry working as an intermediary between African and American churches. With help from Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Anglican denominations, we provide funding for orphan and refugee relief missions and evangelism in East Africa.



In general, if you have suggestions about ways to help the community, if you want to get involved, or if you need assistance, please email Christ Church Outreach at outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.