CEC Outreach News: March 20, 2021

Updated: Mar 21


Columbia Community Care Plans To Help Kids Celebrate Spring

The all-volunteer effort that came together in response to the pandemic, Columbia Community Care (CCC), has reached its one-year anniversary. CCC has ambitious goals for 2021 that its leaders will no doubt discuss with Christ Church parishioners in a virtual session on Monday, March 22nd. But it also has some short term plans to bring cheer to children in Howard County on Saturday, March 27th. You can be a part of both.

Our Racially Aware Group of Episcopalians (R.A.G.E.) will host CCC leaders at 7:30 p.m. Monday on Zoom. They are invited to talk about the needs in Howard County and their work with a proposed social justice center. You’ll find instructions on how to join the conversation in the email about online opportunities that parishioners receive at the start of each week.

CCC has called on members of the community to help children ages 3 to 11 years old get ready to welcome spring. Volunteers are adding a table to each of CCC’s three distribution sites that will offer gift bags and baskets for kids. The sites are open for distribution on Saturday, March 27th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the following three locations: Stevens Forest Neighborhood Center, 6061 Stevens Forest Rd., Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., and Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., all in Columbia.

Sue Sharff Castonguay, a member of the CCC group on Facebook, organized the giveaway and will personally prepare multiple bags. However, to make sure there is plenty to go around, parishioners and others are invited to put together medium-size bags or baskets. She suggests filling them with new items suitable for ages 3 to 11. Ideas include gender-neutral gifts and small toys, individual snacks, juice boxes, packaged candy (no loose or bulk candy), filled plastic eggs, stickers, play dough, slime, art supplies, markers, watercolors, face masks, and mini hand sanitizers. Parishioners can bring their bag or basket(s) to the yellow bin marked “CCC” located inside the entrance to the Parish Hall. To make sure the items get to the organizer’s preferred sites on time, a member of the Outreach Commission will coordinate with CCC. The Christ Church deadline for dropoff is next Friday, March 26th by 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, our Christ Church drive for CCC continues to seek diapers in all sizes and baby wipes, women’s sanitary care products, soaps, shampoo, deodorant, and other toiletries. Please put them in the yellow bin marked “CCC” any time 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.


Save the Dates: April 19 and May 17 to Help Feed the Hungry at Grassroots

Once again, parishioners and volunteers who join their efforts are looking ahead to the monthly meal that we provide for Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. Save the dates and times: April 19th and May 17th, arriving between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m. each day at the parking lot outside Old Brick.

Plan to bring a side dish, a dessert, or items for their pantry to be enjoyed round-the-clock by the 50 residents of the live-in facility on Freetown Rd. To sign up, use our electronic registry no later than 12 noon on the Sunday prior to the meal on Monday. Click on the Christ Church Grassroots Meal link on SignUpGenius to learn which items are requested and to tell coordinators what you plan to bring.

Every third Monday of the month, co-coordinator Nancy Winchester acquires fried chicken at Weis and meets the other volunteers as they enter the Christ Church parking lot (see above photo from March 15th). Nancy then transports the food to Freetown Road for hand-off to the staff at Grassroots. For questions, ask Nancy or co-coordinator Shahra Toth or email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.

During the pandemic, Christ Church began these parking lot 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. That facility remains closed except for curbside distributions, but you can find a current resource list of its needs. Look under “Related files” on our SignUpGenius link.

On their own, parishioners at Christ Church have signed up to provide the evening meal 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 maintained by Grassroots.


Grassroots Offers Training in March in QPR Skills to Help Prevent Suicides

Once again, Grassroots offer 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 online seminar is free to Howard County residents, employees, or students. Training will be offered for adults on Monday, March 29th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To register go here; to learn more, email amanda@grassrootscrisis.org to speak with Amanda Ganoe, the session's organizer.


Donate Groceries for FISH in an Altar Basket or in the Yellow Bin

As in-person worship has resumed, you should find a basket of groceries for FISH of Howard County in the sanctuary. For the convenience of parishioners who continue to observe pandemic precautions, the yellow bin marked “FISH” remains on the breezeway between the Parish Hall and Old Brick. As we transition from winter to spring, keep the weather in mind and avoid putting items in the bin that will freeze.

March LEMS Committee Update

Some of the Lake Elkhorn Middle School students are starting to return to in-person learning this month. The LEMS committee purchased hand sanitizer for the teachers/staff and over five thousand disposable face masks for use by both teachers and students to help keep them safe while they finish out the school year. The school administration is extremely grateful for the support Christ Church has provided throughout the pandemic as they teach and learn during very unusual circumstances.

The LEMS committee is continuing to provide food for ten families one weekend a month with this month's distribution occurring on March 11th. If you have any questions or want to help, please contact lemspc@christchurchcolumbia.org.

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.

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