Episcopal Relief and Development Gets Disaster Aid After Wildfires
The New Year hadn’t yet begun when wildfires swept through Boulder County, Colorado, leaving behind a swath of destruction. Since then, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) has been taking steps to help people recover from the loss of more than 1,000 homes and businesses that burned on December 30th.
“The Episcopal Church in Colorado has deep ties to the community and vast experience in responding to disasters,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director, US Disaster Program of ERD. “Their experience and preparation enabled them to quickly jump into action to provide assistance.”
Housing was already scarce in the region, where the University of Colorado is located. Some people lost everything, from household items to family mementos. A Washington Post article published on Jan. 25th describes one former resident who returned to search her family’s property. Wendy Kramer found an ornamental metal angel from the back patio. “She retrieved its blackened figure, leaving the one remaining wing behind,” the article says.
The Episcopal Church in Colorado mobilized its Disaster Response team to identify residents of the towns of Superior and Louisville whose homes were destroyed or damaged and who may not have other support systems.
On behalf of Christ Church parishioners, members of the Outreach Commission voted at its January meeting to contribute $500 to ERD to assist in relief efforts. These are Vestry-approved funds derived from your pledges and contributions. Heartfelt thanks go out to one and all who make this possible.
If you wish to donate personally to the ERD disaster fund, go online to ERD’s plea, “Responding to the Colorado Wildfires.”
ERD is also asking for our prayers, for the victims of these and other wildfires, and for those beset by fire at any time or place. There have been a series of losses by fire, both near and far. In Columbia, a Christ Church family was displaced by a chimney fire and, in Baltimore, a vacant row house collapsed as it burned. Three firefighters died and another was hospitalized as a result. This month in Philadelphia and New York, 31 people died and others were injured and dispossessed when their buildings were consumed in flame.
To raise your own voice in prayer, go to ERD’s special page, “Be with Those Who are Besieged by Fire.”
Refugee Ministry Update: The Long Welcome Continues
…‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ -Matthew 25:40
Our refugee family continues to make great progress in their adjustment to life here in the U.S. Mother Marcia is leading the effort to provide English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) tutoring to Ziba, as a supplement to the ESL curriculum at HCC she will begin next week (along with Anwar and Ijaz). All three young took the initiative to obtain employment, even as they await their engagement in Lutheran Social Services’ job development program. Mati began classes at Wilde Lake High School, with a challenging course lineup. The non-profit organization “Wheels of Hope” donated three refurbished bikes to the family, and the young men ride them to and from work and to the mosque they’ve begun attending. What a wonderful service for the underserved in our community! (If you’re so inclined, Wheels of Hope accepts donations via their website).
We’re so very excited to see this family grow and thrive in their new home! The family will be receiving some limited public benefits, but there is still a need for donations of a few requested items, especially gift cards, which they greatly appreciate. Donations can be made via this Signup Genius link, or you can donate directly to the Refugee Ministry on Christ Church’s website (select the “Refugee Ministry” drop-down). If you have questions or would like to engage in this ministry, please contact Deacon Denise. Thank you for your support!
Columbia Community Care Renews Request for Diapers
It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution to donate diapers to Columbia Community Care (CCC). One of the volunteers who sorted donations on Jan. 22 posted a plea on the organization’s Facebook Group: “Please donate diapers if you can!”
At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to continue supporting the all-volunteer organization by collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Please put any of these items in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. You can drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sunday.
The items, as well as groceries and produce, are distributed at three sites: Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct.; Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., and at the Barn/Teen Center indoor space in the Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, all in Columbia.
Recipients are welcomed from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. For volunteers, donations and drop-offs begin at 9 a.m. You’ll find updates, such as requests for volunteers at specific sites, posted in the CCC Facebook Group.
FISH Continues its Request for Cookies, Crackers, and Snacks
Organizers for FISH of Howard County are continuing to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill its shopping lists. The yellow bin is between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Thanks for your contributions to our neighbors in need.
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 email@example.com. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.