CEC Outreach News: January 15, 2021


Join Us on Jan. 18th to Help Feed the Hungry at Grassroots

If you want to reach out to others on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, here’s one way to help someone. Plan to prepare a side dish or dessert for the monthly meal that Christ Church provides to the residents of the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center at its live-in facility on Freetown Rd. During the pandemic, we began these curbside 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. It remains closed due to the coronavirus, except for curbside distribution of non-perishables.

In this new tradition during the pandemic, co-coordinator Nancy Winchester acquires fried chicken at Weis and meets the other volunteers as they drive up to Christ Church. (See accompanying photo from Dec. 21.) On Monday, Jan. 18th, please plan to arrive by 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.

Nancy then transports the food 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.

Now’s the time to mark your calendars for the third Monday of February, which is the date for the next meal that Christ Church will provide. Please plan to drop off your items at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 15th.


On their own, parishioners at Christ Church have signed up to provide the evening meal on several evenings in February 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.


Another Opportunity to Learn QPR Skills to Help Prevent Suicides

Once again, a separate part of Grassroots is offering members of the community a chance to learn skills that could help save a life from suicide. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save lives, just as individuals trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver learn what to do. The free online seminar, in which members of Christ Church first participated last June, is being offered remotely in January for Howard County residents, employees, or students.


Grassroots and the Horizon Foundation are offering QPR training on two days this month. The session on Jan. 19th, from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m., is intended for youth age 13 or older or, if the child is younger, when accompanied by a parent during training. The session on Jan. 25th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., is for adults. To learn more, go here: https://www.grassrootscrisis.org/events/ Or you can email amanda@grassrootscrisis.org to speak directly to Amanda Ganoe, the sessions’ organizer. Those of us who completed the training under her guidance during the summer came away with important insights and, as a bonus, several resources that can be shared with others.

Whether or not you decide to take the training, please be aware that Grassroots maintains a 24-hour crisis intervention and supportive counseling hotline (410-531-6677). Individuals may call for various reasons such as suicidal thoughts, family and relationship issues, and addiction, among other problems.

Drives Continue to Collect Specific Items for CCC and 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 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 that's marked “CCC” and located 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, and wear your mask when on the campus. Thank you.


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.


January LEMS Committee Update

The LEMS committee is continuing to contribute to the LEMS Weekend Food Program in 2021! We plan to provide food for ten families one weekend a month in the new year. 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 at their peak, we are following strict safety precautions and will expect the same of all volunteers.


The committee has also reached out to the school to find out if they need assistance at the start of the new semester and will let you know what we find out. 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.

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.