CEC Outreach News: December 26, 2020


Columbia Community Care Moves Indoors; Requests Donations of Diapers, Personal Care items

Christ Church is among the supporters of Columbia Community Care (CCC), an all-volunteer effort that came together in Howard County in response to the pandemic. Since its establishment last spring, the nonprofit organization has revised the timing and location of its distribution sites as demands --and the weather conditions --have changed.

As of Dec. 2, CCC moved its operations indoors. Its new locations are Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., Faulkner Ridge Neighborhood Center, 10518 Marble Faun Lane, and Stevens Forest Neighborhood Center, 6061 Stevens Forest Rd., all in Columbia.

Hours for volunteers and donation drop-offs are Wednesday, 4 to 8 p.m., with lines open for guests at 5 p.m., and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with lines open for guests at 10:30 a.m. Donations of food, personal items, and cleaning supplies can be brought to the sites during the above hours.


Please consider contributing diapers and personal care items. The organizers are telling Christ Church Vestry member Diane LaGuerre that such things are in short supply. Besides diapers in all sizes and baby wipes, CCC needs sanitary pads, soaps, shampoo, and other toiletries.


At its new locations, CCC is following all state and federal COVID19 protocols to keep volunteers and guests safe during the winter setup. Only 10 people total will be in the space at a time, volunteers and guests combined. Traffic of the line will flow one way with an entrance and exit to avoid crossover in the line. Doors will be propped open to allow air circulation. Gloves and masks will continue to be a part of requirements.


Several parishioners at Christ Church have contributed or volunteered to CCC. For those wishing to volunteer, there is a new assignment for those who don’t feel comfortable working indoors. Someone at each site works as a Gatekeeper. The person uses a clicker to monitor the number of guests served, making sure the 10-person limit is observed, and hands out gloves and bags as needed, among other duties. The translator can also work as the gatekeeper and, if so, translators should sign up for both spots. Those and other volunteer slots can be found on the CCC website and on the group’s Facebook page.


Save the Dates -- Jan. 18 and Feb. 15-- to Help Feed the Hungry at Grassroots

Thanks to all who brought holiday cheer in the form of decorated cookies as well other desserts and side dishes for a meal at the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center on Dec. 21. And now’s the time to mark your calendars for the next two meals for the residents of its live-in facility on Freetown Rd. Please plan to bring your items on Monday, Jan. 18, and on Monday, Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m. outside Old Brick. We suggest that you wear both masks and gloves and plan to practice social distancing to keep everyone safe.


In what has become a tradition during the pandemic, co-coordinator Nancy Winchester acquires the chicken at Weis and meets the other volunteers as they drive up to Old Brick. (See accompanying photo from Dec. 21) She then transports the items to Freetown Road for handoff to the staff of Grassroots. Additional volunteers -- and the resulting side dishes, desserts, fruit, and granola bars to complement our main course -- are always welcome. For questions, ask Nancy or co-coordinator Shahra Toth or email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.

On their own, parishioners at Christ Church have signed up to provide the evening meal on several evenings in January for the 50 adults and children. Consider pitching in, by picking a date during January or February to provide an entree and side dishes. Grassroots encourages an order of six pizzas -- two with cheese and four with meat (any kind), or rotisserie chickens (12 to make a meal, plus sides), but discourages lasagna or other pasta entrees. Another welcome option is takeout from restaurants to help the workforce. Here is a link to the sign-up list maintained by Grassroots.


Meanwhile, the Dorsey/Rt. 1 Day Resource Center remains closed due to the coronavirus, except for curbside distribution of non-perishables.


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.

December LEMS Committee Update

Last week the LEMS committee delivered Christ Church's final contribution to the Weekend Food Program for 2020! Thank you for your support of the LEMS community during this unusual school year, you have made learning easier for students that really need the help. We plan to continue to provide food for ten families once a month in the new year, though as with everything, we may need to adjust to changing circumstances and needs. With local COVID cases at their peak we are following strict safety precautions, but we look forward to having greater involvement from parishioners when it is safe to do so.


If you have any questions, please contact lemspc@christchurchcolumbia.org. Donations can be made towards future LEMS support online using Realm and listing LEMS in the memo line.


Be Aware of Email Phishing Scams, Especially During this Holiday Season

We want to make you aware of email and text message scams that are targeting members of religious institutions around the country. There are also recent reports of other Maryland and Howard County churches having been affected by this issue, including Christ Church. You can learn about these phishing scams, and what you can do to help stop them, on our website's blog. Click here.