CEC Outreach News: January 1, 2021

CCC Bin Set Up in Parish Hall to Collect Diapers, Personal Care items

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 and personal care items. The organizers have told Christ Church Vestry member Diane Phillips-Laguerre that these basics are scarce.

Besides diapers in all sizes and baby wipes, 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.

Since its establishment last spring, CCC has become a vital nonprofit organization in meeting the needs of families in Howard County for food and other essentials. In the Howard Magazine’s Best of Howard County competition in the fall, CCC was named “Pandemic Public Hero” and the best volunteer organization.


As of December 2nd, CCC moved its operations indoors. Its new locations, all in Columbia, 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. (In the photo above, organizer Amy Kowalczyk is shown at Stevens Forest near the baby and personal care offerings.)


Hours for volunteers and donation drop-offs are Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m., with lines open for guests at 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 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 these hours.


At its new locations, CCC is following all state and federal COVID-19 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.


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.

Non-perishable Food Items --No Glass, No Liquids-- Requested for FISH

In pre-pandemic days, a basket for food donations could be found at the altar. Yes, we still care about our hungry neighbors who get help from the nonprofit organization, FISH of Howard County. But please keep the weather in mind. Nowadays, that basket has been replaced by a yellow bin, marked “FISH” that is located on the breezeway between the Parish Hall and Old Brick. We ask that you continue to contribute items such as cereals, granola bars, sugar, flour, rice, and dried beans. At this time, please do NOT bring canned goods, liquids in plastic such as juices and salad dressings, or glass containers. Thank you.

The goods in the yellow bin are picked up periodically by FISH volunteer Paul Wisniewski for delivery at the FISH pantry.

For those who shop online to stay safe, consider benefiting a charity that helps the hungry when you order from Amazon. Through AmazonSmile, the company’s foundation makes a contribution of .5% of every purchase on the site to the customer’s designated charity. It’s a small amount but volume matters, and the nonprofits who participate tell us it truly makes a difference. You can designate only one, but we are highlighting several from which you may wish to choose.

FISH, which is an all-volunteer organization, helps impoverished households in several ways ranging from energy assistance to food drop-offs utilizing donations from Christ Church and others in Howard County. Another is Community Action Council of Howard County, which oversees the Howard County Food Bank and several other initiatives to help those in need, and the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. The latter oversees the live-in facility on Freetown Road where Christ Church provides an evening meal every month, as well as the Dorsey/Day Resource Center for homeless individuals. The center on Rt. 1 in Jessup remains closed due to the coronavirus, except for curbside distribution of non-perishables.

Please lift up your prayers for the volunteers and nonprofit employees who are striving to cope with even greater demands and daunting challenges due to coronavirus, as well as those in need of help during the pandemic.

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.

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.


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