CEC Outreach News: December 8, 2021

Updated: Dec 16, 2021


Be Part of The Long Welcome: Help Create a Comfortable Home for our Refugee Family

As you may know, Christ Episcopal Church has committed to sponsoring an Afghan refugee family, under a Good Neighbor Partnership with Lutheran Social Services. As part of our Long Welcome, the Refugee Ministry will be settling the family into their own residence. We recently signed a lease for a townhouse in Ellicott City, and we now need to set up a comfortable home for our assigned family, whom we expect may arrive soon after Christmas.


Items needed for setting up and maintaining the home can be found in this Signup Genius link, where you can sign up to donate. Once you’ve purchased items, you can drop them in the nursery in New Brick on Sunday mornings or at the church office during normal office hours. PLEASE NOTE: All donated items must be in new or like-new condition. Additionally, we are not currently accepting donations other than those on the sign-up list. Please stay tuned for additional needs as they arise.


If you prefer to make a financial contribution, you may send a check to Christ Church marked “Refugee Ministry,” or donate online and denote the same in the memo line. All proceeds will be used to purchase items or provide financial assistance for the family. If you have questions about donating items, please email Steve Alpern. Thank you for being part of this important ministry!


Grassroots Meal Drop-Offs to Occur on the Same Day: Monday, December 13th

In a consolidated approach to feeding the hungry on Monday, December 13th, parishioners are invited to participate for the first time or to double their recipes. As usual, Christ Church will purchase fried chicken at Weis and depend upon your bringing side dishes to make the meal. But what is different is that we will be cooking on that day for two groups of diners.


The first group to be fed is the 40 to 80 friends at the Dorsey Center’s Day Resource Center (DRC), which is operated by Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. When Grassroots suspended operations at the start of the pandemic, Christ Church put its duties at the DRC on hold until last month, when the center reopened on a modified basis. A reduced number of Christ Church volunteers served the midday meal in person on our usual day –the second Monday of the month.


The second group to be fed is at Grassroots’ Live-in Facility on Freetown Rd., where the staff serves the food. We have been providing the evening meal menu – fried chicken and side dishes cooked by parishioners – on the third Monday of the month during the pandemic. Last month there were separate drop-off dates to feed each of the two groups. This month there is only one date, and it falls on the second Monday this time.


If you’re cooking only for the evening meal at the Live-In Facility, plan to arrive between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m. at the parking lot outside Old Brick. Bring a side dish, a dessert, or items for the pantry to be enjoyed round-the-clock by the 50 residents at the Freetown Rd. facility. Click on the Christ Church Grassroots Meal link on SignUpGenius to view a suggested menu and to tell coordinators what you’ll bring.


If you're cooking or volunteering for the midday meal at the DRC, plan to arrive between 12:45 and 1 p.m. at the parking lot outside Old Brick. Bring a side dish, a dessert, or items for the DRC pantry. Click on a different link, called the Christ Church Dorsey/DRC Meal link on SignUpGenius to view requested items and to tell coordinators what you’ll bring.

If you're cooking or bringing pantry items for both meals, plan to arrive between 12:45 and 1 p.m. at the parking lot outside Old Brick. The dish and supplementals for the evening meal can be left in the Parish Hall kitchen. Or, depending on the dish or the supplemental item, such as brownies or fruit, you can put it in the kitchen on Sunday. Please sign in on both of the above links to enter your information.


If you plan to volunteer in-person to serve the midday meal, please be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have a flu shot. You’ll find the four categories of volunteer duties on the Christ Church Dorsey/DRC Meal link on SignUpGenius, which is the same form as for menu items.

One of the duties is to depart the DRC when the shift ends at 4 p.m. to transport any excess fried chicken, side dishes, and desserts from one Grassroots site to the other. We’ve always taken the leftovers to the Freetown Rd. Live-In Facility. This time, we’ll literally be consolidating our food and our efforts.


Please sign up online at one or both of the sites no later than noon on the Sunday prior to the meal on Monday. For questions about meals for either of the Grassroots facilities, please email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org so we can put you in touch with co-coordinator Nancy Winchester.


Not Too Late: Columbia Community Care Holds a Holiday Toy Drive Dec. 11th

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, Dec. 11. Please drop off new and unwrapped items by Friday, 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.


As an alternative, CCC offers a couple of other collection drop-offs and a wish list on its Facebook group. Or go directly to either of the two CCC sites where gifts will be distributed: Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Rd, Columbia, 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.

Inviting One and All to Get Involved in Christ Church Outreach

What better time than the holidays to get more fully involved in helping others! The Outreach Commission invites you to join in during our next meeting to learn more about opportunities this month and in 2022. It will be held virtually at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13. Information on how to join the meeting by Zoom or by phone will be provided in the Church notices about online activities next week.


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.


Look for a Recap Next Week of Our Successful Angel Tree Drive

All the slots were taken by last Sunday to brighten Christmas for 12 children on the 2021 Christ Church Angel Tree list. Friday, Dec. 10, is the deadline for turning in gifts for the group of 11- and 12-year-olds, whose names can be found on the Christ Church Angel Tree SignUp page and on the easel near the Angel Tree in the Narthex. 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 Angel Tree sponsor.


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

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. Find the drop-off bin marked “Seafarers” in the Tower Room of New Brick, and bring items by this Monday, December 6th. Call Carolann Sawyer at 410-381-0123 if you have any questions. 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.