CEC Outreach News: December 23, 2021


Christ Church Supports CCD-USA to Help Disabled Children in Thailand

Christ Church has received warm Christmas greetings and best wishes for the New Year from CCD-USA, the nonprofit organization in this county that supports care for disabled children in Thailand. It does so through Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities (CCD), which was recently recognized for high standards as a charity by the Minister of Social Development and Human Resources.


At the Outreach Commission meeting on December 13th, members voted to contribute $500 in Vestry-approved funds to CCD. As you may recall through past fundraisers such as a quilt raffle, Christ Church is a long-time supporter. We are credited for helping fund CCD’s physical therapists on a CCD-website. To read CCD’s hearty “Thank-You” to Christ Church once you are online, scroll down past the post about the kitchen garden and look for photos of therapists with children.


In a 2021 holiday newsletter that takes note of the pandemic impact, CCD writes: “2021 was a busy time for the staff and children at CCD! Lockdowns slowed a few programs, but exciting progress was still made. More therapists and food/supply donations went to the Community Based Rehabilitation programs in the outer provinces of Thailand.”


The newsletter also informed us that older residents of Rainbow House now operate a local coffee shop and that CCD’s award for high standards is called the Prime Minister’s Shield. Parishioners can take pride that their contributions to Christ Church are helping CCD improve the lives of children and young people who are differently abled.


To speak to someone who has seen firsthand CCD’s work in Thailand, please email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org, and we will put you in touch with Michon Semon.


Refugee Ministry Update: Good News to Share!

Lutheran Social Services has finally matched us with a family of four: a mother, age 46, with three sons, ages 20, 19, and 17. The family is already in Maryland, currently staying in temporary housing. A team of people from Christ Church has been busy preparing their townhome in Ellicott City, and we will be ready to move them in early the week of December 27th.


Many thanks to Jan DeBoissierre, Cherryllynn Williams, Paula Rees, Pat DeLorenzo, Diana Hall, Steve Alpern, Ray Lyon, and Ann Barnes, for their leadership and tireless dedication in getting us organized and prepared for the family’s arrival. Grateful thanks also go out to Michon Semon, Dione Mahoney, Nancy Winchester, Phil Bray, and Nathanial Knox, for their assistance in setting up the home.


Our ministry group is now approximately 40 people, including several volunteers from partner faith communities Patapsco Friends and St. John’s Episcopal. We’re excited to meet and get to know this family and will be sharing more information in the coming weeks. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Jan DeBoissiere or Cherryllynn Williams. You can also join us for our next Zoom gathering, taking place next Thursday, December 30th at 6:30 p.m. Those details will be in next week's communications.


Columbia Community Care Plans a Holiday Break, Will Move All Sites Indoors

Please spread the word that the all-volunteer organization, Columbia Community Care (CCC) is taking a holiday break and changing some details of its operations as winter arrives. All sites are closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day: Saturday, December 25th, and Saturday, January 1st.


For one last time in 2021, CCC will be open on Wednesday, December 29th at three site locations: Oakland Mills Middle School (OMMS), 9540 Kilimanjaro Road, at Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., and at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., all in Columbia. Evening hours are 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Volunteers and donation drop-off begin at 4:30 p.m.


Starting on Saturday, January 8th, the Wilde Lake site will move indoors at the Interfaith Center. The OMMS site will relocate to the Barn/Teen Center indoor space in the Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia. There are no changes for Long Reach.


Saturday hours are the same as before: 10 a.m. to noon for recipients, and volunteers and donation drop-off beginning at 9 a.m. There will be no Wednesday distributions.


At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to continue supporting CCC by collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Please put any of these items 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.


Lake Elkhorn Middle School Update

We have been in contact with Principal Melissa Shindel and she is so grateful for all that Christ Church has done over the last year (i.e., money for field trips and staff shirts, food for families in need, school supplies) and she welcomes our support in the future.


That support may be a bit different this year as food for families is being handled through the county. Furthermore, because of the inability to go on trips due to the pandemic, there is money left in the field trip budget for this year.

However, Melissa is hoping that we will be able to assist with parent workshops that will be held over the school year in the evenings. The school is partnering with the Council of Elders whose mission is to support the Black community. They are hoping to present workshops on specific topics relevant to families that struggle. Melissa would love it if we could provide Grab and Go dinners (due to COVID restrictions) for those meetings, and projects that there will be about 30 people attending.


We will be in touch with you once we have definite dates for these workshops after the winter break. Melissa may discover that there are other ways that we can help as the school year progresses. There is no doubt that this is a severely under-resourced school and our help is crucial to provide these children with an equitable school experience.

Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions, by emailing us at lemspc@christchurchcolumbia.org. We look forward to working with you over this school year. ~Mary Vail and Cathy Whittaker, Co-chairs of the Lake Elkhorn Middle School Committee


Donate Snacks, Crackers, and Cookies to FISH in Bin on our Breezeway

During the holidays, 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 between Old Brick and the Parish Hall.


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.