CEC Outreach News: March 24, 2022


DreamBuilders Trip to Repair Homes in Puerto Rico - May 15-21, 2022.

REGISTER BY TOMORROW, MARCH 25TH TO JOIN US!

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September of 2017. Though it’s been over 4 years, hundreds of Puerto Ricans are still waiting for the day when their home can be livable again. DreamBuilders will be making its second trip to the island in May to work with SBP-Puerto Rico to repair damaged homes.


The trip is for adults 18 and older. The cost of the trip is $1000 per volunteer, which covers the flights, housing, food, and rental vehicles. Trip registration is only open for ONE MORE DAY, until March 25th, to meet airline requirements for a group rate.


SBP has covid protocols in place to protect their staff, homeowners, and us. All volunteers must be vaccinated. Puerto Rico has recently relaxed their requirements for entry to the island, and pre-flight testing is no longer required.


You can register as a volunteer by clicking here. You will be required to pay at least half of the cost ($500) upon registration. The remaining $500 will be due by March 31st. The payment portal can be found at this url: https://goo.gl/4SHxKv


Hope to see you in Puerto Rico in May!


A Chance on Sunday to Learn How Bridges to Housing Stability Helps End Homelessness in Howard County

Plan to attend or livestream worship services and participate in the Adult Forum this Sunday, March 27th, when we have invited a representative of Bridges to Housing Stability to visit Christ Church. Nancy Fenton, Director of Development & Marketing, will give the sermon and speak during Sunday Circle on the latest ways that Bridges makes it possible for people to find and keep affordable housing.


Christ Church has a warm relationship as a supporter of Bridges, starting with our participation in a countywide chili cook-off in 2019. At the Chili & Challenge virtual fundraiser held in 2020, Christ Church won a Silver Ladle Award. Then, at the 2021 Chili & Challenge, we won gold.


We’ll hear how the funds that we have raised are helping residents. It’s a pressing need. Of Howard County’s 30,000 renter households, 43 percent are cost-burdened (spending a third of monthly income on rent) and another 33 percent of households are severely cost-burdened (spending more than half of monthly income on rent).


One way that Bridges tackles this problem is through its Alliance program, which provides rental homes at below-market rents for one year to qualifying individuals and families. Tenants include para-educators, certified nursing aides, childcare providers, restaurant servers, commercial drivers, and security guards. To promote self-sufficiency, Alliance offers Circle of Support – regular education sessions related to financial capability, budgeting, saving, credit repair, investing for retirement, and buying a home.


At the start of 2022, Bridges bought a three-bedroom condo that became the 46th unit in its Alliance program. That adds one more affordable home in Columbia, a place where such housing is increasingly scarce. On Sunday, don’t miss the chance to learn more about this and other initiatives in Howard County.



CCC Thanks All for Community Help, Marks Its 2-Year Anniversary

Two years ago, as Maryland and the rest of the nation plunged into the travails of a worldwide pandemic, an all-volunteer organization was founded. Last week, Columbia Community Care (CCC) was recruiting volunteers to help clean up and set up a new pantry. This week, leaders were expressing gratitude not only for that weekend labor but for support going back to March 2020.


“We were so caught up in the excitement and planning of our new space cleanup that our 2nd Anniversary passed us by without fanfare,” said Meg Dacey Feroli, speaking for all of the leaders in a post on the CCC Facebook Group. “But we're still here! 2 years since COVID shut down the schools and brought our community to a standstill. But it didn't shut down the hearts and hands of what would become Columbia Community Care. Volunteers jumped in to help cover the food gap created by kids losing their school meals, families losing their jobs, and individuals unable to get to the store for a variety of reasons.


“Even with the threat of COVID waning, our community has seen the need for what it is, a long-time systemic problem. And so, 2 years later, some volunteers from day one still come out to help, and new volunteers find us each day. Donations of food, essentials, and money continue to keep our families fed and safe.


“Thank you, it never seems like it's enough to say it. But we appreciate every contribution, every pair of hands, every dollar, every new idea, every single one. We continue to grow, expand and serve and even though we are sad that the need exists, we are grateful that we are here and able to meet the need.”


Supporters of CCC, including parishioner Dave Lanczynski, volunteered on March 19 and March 20 to prepare space for a pantry in a county-owned building that was once home to the Columbia Flier.


CCC is selling a new CCC t-shirt as a fundraiser to help prep and stock the pantry. The refurbished space, in turn, will allow the resumption of home delivery to households who lack transportation. CCC also hopes people will wear the shirts when volunteering at its three distribution sites. Site times and locations, along with additional photos of the weekend setup, can be found on the group’s Facebook page.


At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to continue CCC by collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Please put them in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall.



A Volunteer Opportunity in Anacostia to Pack Meals for Haiti or Puerto Rico

Volunteers are coming from far and wide on Saturday, March 26, to a “Global Meals for the Hungry” event at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in the Anacostia section of Southeast Washington, D.C. When asked to spread the word, Diane Phillips LaGuerre invited fellow Outreach members to inform Christ Church parishioners who might want to try their hand at a “Meal Packing Event.”


At least 150 volunteers will gather in an assembly line to pack 35,000 meals to be delivered to Haiti or Puerto Rico. Volunteers must be age 10 or older and have proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. PPE materials will be provided to everyone. View a video to glimpse the teamwork involved. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the church hall “Panorama Room” at 1600 Morris Rd. SE, Washington, D.C. 20020. To register or for information, send an email to olphglobal-meals@gmail.com or call Cheryl Holley at 202-256-2567.

Baltimore Seafarers News

As a reminder, the Women of Christ Church gather donations for Seafarers throughout the year. At this time, they are looking for magazines, cards, notebooks, gloves, hats, and scarves. If you’d like to donate any of these items, the "Seafarers" box is under the table in the Tower Room of New Brick.


FISH Continues its Request for Cookies, Crackers, and Snacks

As winter continues, organizers for FISH of Howard County continue to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill shopping lists. They also say thanks to Christ Church for its response to their earlier needs, which produced an adequate inventory of household cleaning supplies and personal items. The bin is on the breezeway near the door to the Parish Hall.


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.