Christ Church Supports Community Action Council of Howard County
In pre-pandemic times, you’ll recall that Christ Church held periodic food drives at Giant supermarkets to collect groceries for the Howard County Food Bank, which is a pivotal initiative of the Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC). The last drive was held on a sunny, fall day 15 months ago (see photo).
Perhaps now that we’ve entered a new year, with a roll-out of new vaccines against the coronavirus, Christ Church will be able to resume our food drives later in 2021. In the meantime, the CAC has been confronted with vast needs for food as well as for the other services that it provides to residents in need. In recognition of this great demand, the Outreach Commission recently voted to contribute $1,000 in Vestry-approved funds to the CAC.
Leaders of the CAC have been reaching out to donors to acknowledge the support of the community and to describe actions during 2020 to ease the impact of the pandemic. From the outset of COVID-19 in March, CAC held 53 pop-up pantries that, in addition to other distribution methods, provided 1,356,448 pounds of food to 51,942 people. Also, 283 families were spared from homelessness; 414 homes were weatherized, saving families an average of $430 a year; 4,298 families kept the lights through assistance with their utility bills, and 322 students received quality full-day early childhood education through CAC’s Head Start program.
These facts can be found on the non-profit organization’s webpage for its mission statement. The CAC mission is: “To diminish poverty, enable self-sufficiency, and advocate for low-income families and individuals.”
The Outreach Commission meets once a month on the second Monday and is scheduled to hold its next meeting virtually on Zoom, on Monday, January 11th. All parishioners are invited and encouraged to attend. Log on at 7:30 p.m. with your ideas and New Year’s resolutions to get more involved in volunteer activities! The Zoom link is here, Meeting ID is 847 5065 9984 and the password is Outreach01. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collection Drive Continues to Provide Diapers, Personal Care Items for CCC
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 at (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 Dec. 2, 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.
Hours for volunteers and donation drop-offs are Wednesday, 4 to 8 p.m., with lines open for guests at 5 p.m., and Saturday, 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 the above hours.
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 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.
The goods in the yellow bin are picked up periodically by FISH volunteer Paul Wisniewski for delivery at the FISH pantry.
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.