CEC Outreach News: March 5, 2021


Christ Church Supports Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center

In pandemic times, as the needs have been relentless in Howard County, the Outreach Commission recently voted to send funds to an organization that, day-to-day, is among the closest to the neediest.

The Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center describes its goal: “Our mission is not very complicated, it’s to serve those in need. Of course, more and more these days, carrying out that mission gets complicated. Today, providing our various services requires more staff, more planning, more resources, and more skill than ever before.”

In recognition of this great demand, the commission voted on February 8th to contribute $1,000 in parishioners’ donated funds for the purpose of “General Outreach” to Grassroots. Christ Church already has a strong relationship with this organization, as it oversees the Freetown Road live-in facility where we provide a monthly meal. The next one is March 15th; you can sign up here. It also operates the Rt. 1 Dorsey/Day Resource Center, where Christ Church volunteers had both cooked and served a hot meal until indoor functions were suspended due to the pandemic.

Grassroots is the first point of contact in the county for homeless services. For example, its live-in facility houses about 10 families and six single women at a given time. The children have been experiencing distance learning like all others in the county with the added challenge of being in a congregate-living situation. One upside: The Freetown Road facility has good wi-fi, said Anna Katz, Director of Operations.

She sent parishioners a letter of thanks:

“Please extend our appreciation to all the members of Christ Episcopal Church for the very generous contribution of $1,000 in support of our programs and services. 2020 was a year like none other. Grassroots had to adjust to the new normal while still doing the work of providing crisis and shelter services to our clients. We could not have done it without the support of our community. Thanks to donors like you…

● Grassroots was able to provide safe emergency shelter to 485 individuals including 91 children.

● Our crisis services responded to 37,903 phone calls.

● Our hotline pantry distributed 1,001 bags of food to households requesting food assistance.

Counselors processed applications from callers seeking Rental Assistance. A total of 93 households received funds to help them pay months of back rent. Thank you again for your generous support.”

Grassroots operates a 24-hour general crisis hotline (see photo above) that can be reached by calling 410-531-6677. Its crisis services also include a walk-in counseling program and special youth services such as a Runaway Intervention Program. The Crisis Intervention Service is certified by the American Association of Suicidology.

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.

On Tuesday, March 16 from 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Grassroots and the Horizon Foundation are offering QPR training for youth age 13 or older and their families. There is a session for adults on Monday, March 29th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To register for either one go here: To learn more, email amanda@grassrootscrisis.org to speak with Amanda Ganoe, the sessions’ organizer.


Collection Drive Continues to Provide Diapers, Personal Care Items for CCC

Parishioners continue to support Columbia Community Care (CCC) by collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items at the request of this all-volunteer organization. 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 (410) 381-9365 to let them know when you are coming.

In a separate initiative at Christ Church, our Racially Aware Group of Episcopalians (R.A.G.E) will host CCC leaders Monday, March 22nd. Our guests are invited to talk on Zoom about the needs in Howard County and their work with a proposed Social Justice Center. Please mark your calendars.


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

As worship resumes, the basket of groceries for FISH of Howard County will reappear at the altar. But 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. In winter, keep the weather in mind and avoid putting items in the bin that will freeze.


Come One, Come All to our Zoom Outreach Meeting on Monday, March 8th

The Outreach Commission is scheduled to hold its next meeting, virtually on Zoom, on Monday, March 8th, and parishioners are invited to attend. Log on at 7:30 p.m. with your ideas and aspirations to get more involved in volunteer activities! (Look for Zoom instructions in the online events email that the church communications staff sends at the start of each week.) The Commission meets once a month on the second Monday. For more information, email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.



WOCC Outreach - Seafarer’s Donations

For years, the WOCC has been involved in providing requested items to Seafarers. Below is a list of the types of magazines, books, and DVD’s/CD’s to be donated. If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated. The Seafarer’s bin is in the lower level, near the bottom of the steps, in the Parish House.

Suggested Items needed:

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

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

· Sports Illustrated/People/etc. up to 6 months

· Cars/Computers/Consumers magazines - up to 1 year

· Reader’s Digest up to a couple of years

· National Geographic (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 CD’s.

· Religious books (in easy English), DVD’s, CD’s; rosaries.

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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