CEC Outreach News: February 19, 2021

Updated: Feb 21


It’s Nearing Time for Take-Out to Assist Bridges to Housing Stability

Once again, we have the opportunity to help end homelessness in Howard County by eating out. A local restaurant is participating in a benefit for Bridges to Housing Stability from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on February 24th. That is Shake Shack Donation Day. On that website for the event, you’ll find a flyer to download, so please spread the word.

The restaurant is located on the plaza at Columbia Mall, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044. Please use the code DONATION on the Shack App, web, or kiosk when checking out so that 25% of your total meal purchase will go directly to Bridges.

Christ Church has a warm relationship in helping Bridges. We participated in a countywide chili cook-off, Holier Than Thou, in 2019 and surpassed our fundraising a year ago at our own cook-off. That effort on Feb. 9, 2020, which included the Youth Group’s collection from Souper Bowl Sunday, raised $1,000. And that, in turn, led to Christ Church winning a Silver Ladle Award during the Chili & Challenge virtual fundraiser held last fall by the nonprofit.

In its February newsletter, you can read about work that your donations support, including help for a mother of four. She writes, “I got behind on my rent when I was laid off from my job due to COVID-19 and then got very sick with COVID-19 and pneumonia. All of my kids were sick, too.” Bridges’ newsletter includes a timely excerpt of an article on racial inequities in housing, selected for Black History Month. And there’s a shout-out to Christ Church for our support of the January restaurant benefit, at Coal Fire in Ellicott City. That means we’ve set the bar high for participation next week at Shake Shack. So please plan to turn out on February 24th.


Save the Dates: March 15 and April 19 to Help Feed the Hungry at Grassroots

Once again, parishioners and volunteers who join their efforts are looking ahead to the monthly meal that we provide for Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. Save the dates and times: March 15 and April 19, arriving between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m. at the parking lot outside Old Brick.

Plan to bring a side dish, a dessert, or items for their pantry to be enjoyed round-the-clock by the 50 residents of the live-in facility on Freetown Rd. And now that we have launched an electronic registry to improve planning, please sign up online no later than noon on the Sunday prior to the meal on Monday. Click on the Christ Church Grassroots Meal link on SignUpGenius to learn which items are requested and to tell coordinators what you plan to bring.

During the pandemic, Christ Church began these parking-lot drop-offs in lieu of the monthly meals that we once provided in-person at another Grassroots facility, the Dorsey/Rt. 1 Day Resource Center. That facility remains closed due to the coronavirus, except for curbside distribution of non-perishables.

In this pandemic-era tradition, 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.

Additional participants — and the resulting side dishes, desserts, fruit, and granola bars to complement our main course — are welcome. Be sure to wear a mask with multiple layers and plan to practice social distancing to keep everyone safe. For questions in addition to the information available at the sign-up link, 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 recently for the 50 adults and children. Consider pitching in, by picking a date to provide an entree and side dishes, or just the entree. 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. Another welcome option is takeout from restaurants to help the workforce. Here is a link to the sign-up list that's maintained by Grassroots.


Share the News of a Pop-Up Pantry on Feb. 19 in Jessup

If you or someone you know is in need of food, the Howard County government is spreading the word. A pop-up pantry will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, February 19th at the Ridgely Run Community Center, 8400 Mission Road in Jessup. The county’s Office of Human Rights and Equity’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission and the Harriet Tubman Foundation of Howard County are the sponsors.


Drives Continue to Collect Diapers and Personal Care Items for CCC and Non-liquid, Non-perishable Foods for FISH

Parishioners are asked to support Columbia Community Care (CCC), an all-volunteer effort that came together in Howard County in response to the pandemic, by collecting diapers, baby wipes, and personal care items. CCC needs women’s sanitary care products, soaps, shampoo, deodorant, and other toiletries. Please put them 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 to let them know when you are coming.

Meanwhile, the basket of groceries for FISH of Howard County that once stood at the altar has been replaced by a yellow bin, marked “FISH” on the breezeway between the Parish Hall and Old Brick. During winter, please contribute items such as cereal and granola bars that will not freeze. Please do NOT bring canned goods, liquids in plastic such as juices and salad dressing, or glass containers.


February LEMS Committee Update

LEMS teachers will be returning to the school building this month. To help the teachers and staff feel appreciated, the LEMS provided goodie bags for each of them, as requested by the school principal. The LEMS committee is continuing to provide food for ten families one weekend a month. If anyone is interested in volunteering with the monthly bulk purchasing, bagging, and delivering to the school when New Brick reopens please contact the committee. With local COVID cases still elevated we are following strict safety precautions and will expect the same of all volunteers. If you have any questions, please contact lemspc@christchurchcolumbia.org.

WOCC Outreach - Seafarer’s Donations

For years, the WOCC has been involved in providing requested items to Seafarers. Below is a list of the types of magazines, books, and DVD’s/CD’s to be donated. If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. The Seafarer’s bin is in the lower level, near the bottom of the steps, in the Parish House.

Suggested Items needed:

· Bible in modern English (or Tagalog, Russian, or Chinese),

· Times/Newsweek/etc. up to 3 months old

· Sports Illustrated/People/etc. up to 6 months

· Cars/Computers/Consumers magazines - up to 1 year

· Reader’s Digest up to a couple of years

· National Geographic (post-2000)

· Books (except for Bibles) are less often requested, but some seafarers do appreciate action novels, as well as picture books about Baltimore or the U.S.

· Action/adventure DVD’s. Recent popular CD’s.

· Religious books (in easy English), DVD’s, CD’s; rosaries.


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.