CEC Outreach News: December 2, 2021


Angel Tree Drive Continues to Brighten Christmas for 12 Children

From an Easy-Bake Oven to socks and underwear, there are still slots remaining to grant the wishes of children on the 2021 Christ Church Angel Tree list. The Outreach Commission invites you to help bring the joy of Christmas to a group of 11- and 12-year-olds, whose names can be found in two places: on the signage by the actual Angel Tree in the Narthex, and online at the Christ Church Angel Tree SignUp page.


We are focusing our support on children in this age range to meet a need identified by the Howard County (Central Maryland) division of The Salvation Army. The nonprofit organization, which oversees the Angel Tree initiative here and elsewhere, has announced a new theme for 2021: “Wear, Need, Want, Read!”


Please plan to provide one or more gifts for a girl or boy on our list. There are a dozen children in our group. Each one will receive an outfit, consisting of pants and a top. Besides the clothing, there are three other categories this year for each angel: Wish, Need, and Educational Item. Some people prefer to sign up for a single slot, such as the practical (need) category for one child. Some parishioners desire to complete the entire “package’ for an angel by signing up in all four categories. Another shopper might choose the clothing (outfit) category for multiple angels.


After you make your choices on the Christ Church Angel Tree SignUp page, you’ll find instructions there on the next steps. Or, if you stop by the tree in the Narthex after services on Sunday, Dec. 5, someone will assist you in logging onto a device and will give you a handout with instructions. The deadline to bring unwrapped gifts is 2:30 p.m. on Friday, December 10th.


If you wish to participate by giving of your time, please volunteer for one of two duties: Sign-up or Fulfillment. The former is to help people log on to a device after services on December 5th. The latter is to collate packages or to shop for --but not pay for-- any unmet items. Fulfillment occurs from December 10th through December 12th. To volunteer, specify Sign-up or Fulfillment, or both, in an email to outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.


For any parishioners who have pandemic concerns and prefer completely contactless delivery, there is an arrangement between Salvation Army (Central Maryland) and Amazon. To use this method, you’ll need to choose an angel from a list that differs from the one given to Christ Church. Please request instructions on how to proceed by emailing outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.


Through either method, we will lift the hearts not only of the angels but of their families.

Friends of Sabina to Share Plans December 8th during their 2nd Annual Virtual Fundraiser

For more than a decade, Christ Church has backed efforts to educate students at Sabina Primary School in Uganda. Leaders of the nonprofit, Friends of Sabina (FOS), have kept us up to date on improvements, most recently at an online forum during virtual coffee hour on Aug. 1.


Now parishioners have the chance to look forward along with other supporters of FOS during its virtual program, to be held from 8:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 8. The theme is W.A.S.H., which stands for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. You’ll find a link on the FOS website when the time comes to view the event.


The Outreach Commission continues to encourage parishioners to sponsor Sabina students whose families otherwise cannot afford fees and tuition. (They are among Sabina students pictured here.) Parishioners stepped forward to sponsor eight children, whose photos are among a dozen shown on this Christ Church site that describes our support. Anyone interested in exploring that option is invited to email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.


Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Uganda, schools are not expected to reopen until at least January. But FOS has taken education packets to students' homes to keep them engaged in learning during the pandemic. Through Outreach, Christ Church also supports the Sabina library; it serves as a community center in a rural part of Uganda called the Kyotera District.


Columbia Community Care Holds a Holiday Toy Drive for Kids 2 to 12 Years Old

To help families celebrate the holidays, Columbia Community Care(CCC) is holding its annual Holiday Toy Drive to gather gifts and treats for children from 2 to 12 years old. Items such as crafts, books, puzzles, gloves, mittens, hats, and after-school snacks will be distributed on Saturday, December 11th. Please drop off new and unwrapped items by December 10th.

This is in addition to the typical collection at Christ Church, which consists of diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Please put the holiday items along with the usual ones in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. You can drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sunday.


As an alternative, CCC offers a couple of other collection drop-offs on its website or its Facebook group. Or go directly to either of the two CCC sites where gifts will be distributed: Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., and Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Road, both in Columbia. To drop off gifts, please arrive between 9 and 10 a.m.; to receive gifts, arrive between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., or while supplies last.

FISH Has an Updated Request: Cookies, Crackers, and Snacks

As the holidays begin, organizers for FISH of Howard County are making a more festive request than the previous one. Cookies, crackers, and snacks are what’s needed at the pantry to fulfill shopping lists. They also say thanks to Christ Church for its response to their earlier needs, which produced an adequate inventory of household cleaning supplies and personal items. The bin is on the breezeway near the door to the Parish Hall.


Springfield Hospital Donations

The Women of Christ Church will once again be collecting Christmas gifts for our friends at Springfield Hospital. Though we haven’t been able to make our usual visits due to the pandemic, we will be gathering gifts for them to bring a little Christmas joy. If you would like to contribute, we have placed a large container in the Tower Room to accept your unwrapped donations. We will need them by December 15th, in order to meet their deadline. If you want to donate gifts but can’t get them to church, please contact Cathy Gold or email info@christchurchcolumbia.org, and we will find a way. Here is the current wish list from Springfield Hospital, in case you would like suggestions.



Baltimore Seafarer Ministry

Our next delivery date by the WOCC to the Seafarers Center is Tuesday, December 7th. Find the drop-off bin marked “Seafarers” in the Tower Room of New Brick. Each year, the WOCC helps prepare those Seafarers that come to the Baltimore Harbor with ‘Warmth and The Holidays’. These are people who are often away at sea for very long periods of time. Please help by contributing any of these needed items!

  • Calendars

  • Current magazines (especially National Geographic & Smithsonian)

  • Toiletries for their “Christmas shoe boxes” that are handed out to each Seafarer, such as: toothbrushes, small and medium-size tubes of toothpaste, travel-size shaving cream, disposable razors, etc.

  • Warm socks, warm hats, and gloves.

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.