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CEC Outreach News: July 1, 2021

Somos Amigos Medical Missions Expresses Gratitude for Our Donation to Honor Mary and Ed Keath, Supporting Health Care in the Dominican Republic

In March, Christ Church bid farewell to longtime parishioners Mary and Ed Keath, who also are longtime volunteers with Somos Amigos Medical Missions. As a tribute to the Keaths upon their move to a new home in Oregon, contributions poured in to Outreach. (At the Keaths’ request, contributions were also requested for music education.)

The Outreach Commission, in response, donated $2,000 of these Keath funds to support Somos Amigos’ clinic in the Dominican Republic. The timing was fortuitous, given the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. Somos Amigos’ previous healthcare delivery model had depended on volunteer clinicians and other helpers traveling four times a year, collaborating with residents of Naranjito.

Instead, Somos Amigos created a local model to serve patients in the rural, mountainous region and launched a “Close the Gap” fundraising campaign to make the switch possible. The transition was successful, thanks in part to Christ Church.

At the outset of the April clinic, Somos Amigos described its accomplishments in a blog post: “We had to figure out new ways to provide the care our patients depend on while making sure we protected everyone’s health and safety. We navigated a complex and evolving landscape of travel restrictions, government and expert recommendations. And we provided critical care and medications to our patients on time and with little disruption to them. We should all be very proud of the things we’ve accomplished together this past year.”

The April clinic was able to offer eye care in addition to locally-provided medical, dental, and pharmaceutical services.

“It’s been a challenging year for us, but what we have been able to accomplish despite the obstacles has been incredible,” said Executive Director and CEO Frank Brightwell in a letter to Christ Church. He has regularly visited Christ Church to deliver the sermon and conduct adult forums, most recently joining Mary Keath to speak about Somos Amigos in March 2020.

“As we approached the end of our fiscal year, our gratitude and success were juxtaposed to our budget deficit of more than $50,000, expenses we could not have anticipated that were directly related to COVID. I am happy to report that we have nearly closed the gap.

“I want to thank you, your parishioners, and the Outreach Committee, for your years of support. Thank you for believing in Somos Amigos. Thank you for helping us heal. I'm truly grateful,” wrote Brightwell.

For information about Somos Amigos, feel free to speak to parishioners Dione Mahoney and Shahra Toth, who also regularly volunteer at the Naranjito clinic when circumstances permit. Or visit the volunteer portion of the Somos Amigos website. The nonprofit will once again operate its July clinic with local providers, but it anticipates the possibility of returning volunteers to the clinic in 2021.

CCC Takes a Break for the July 4th Holiday Weekend

During the holiday weekend, Columbia Community Care (CCC) will close its three donation sites and the New Hope pantry on Saturday, July 3. Please spread the word so that those who benefit from CCC or sign up for duties with this all-volunteer organization may plan accordingly.

The distribution sites are located at Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Rd., Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., and Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Court, all in Columbia.

At Christ Church, our Racially Aware Group of Episcopalians (R.A.G.E) and the Outreach Commission join in asking parishioners to continue supporting CCC in various ways. To make it convenient, you may drop off requested items in the yellow collection bins in the Parish Hall. We have been gathering diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers such as Depends. You can drop off items on weekdays until 2 p.m., but we ask that you call the church office (410) 381-9365 ahead of time. The office will be closed Monday for the holiday.

Donate Toiletries, Cleaning Supplies for FISH in its Yellow Bin

Organizers for FISH of Howard County request household cleaning supplies such as liquid dish soap, bleach, and cleanser. Also the families who call on FISH during times of crisis could use personal items such as deodorant, shampoo and bath soaps. At the present time, the pantry has an adequate supply of groceries.

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 Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.

SEAFARER’S Donation Requests

We could use your help in gathering the following items. Delivery is made and the date announced when the number of collections gets reasonably accumulated. Contact Carolann Sawyer with any questions.

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

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

  • Sports Ill/People/etc. up to 6 months

  • Cars/Computers/Consumers up to 1 year

  • Reader’s Digest up to a couple of years

  • National Geographics 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 CDs.

  • Religious books (in easy English), DVDs, CDs; rosaries.

  • Clothing - men’s jeans, other sturdy pants (no bigger than XL) or shorts, T-shirts, warm outerwear, and non-skid shoes/boots (in good condition only), and gloves, hats, scarves, and warm socks

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 Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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