CEC Outreach News: October 29, 2021


Somos Amigos Continues Health Care in the Dominican Republic, Expresses Gratitude for Parishioners’ Donations

In much the same way that Christ Church has continued to support Somos Amigos Medical Missions — despite pandemic challenges that have kept our volunteers from going to the Dominican Republic — the nonprofit provider of healthcare has continued to treat its patients.

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. As you can read in a blog on the nonprofit’s website, Somos Amigos has applied to the nation’s health ministry to expand local care in combination with future volunteer efforts.

Meanwhile, during October as usual, patients were coming in for treatment. And on October 6th, Executive Director and CEO Frank Brightwell wrote a letter to Christ Church, beginning with a quote from Helen Keller: "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

“Dear Friends, the pandemic has been challenging for all of us. Like so many worthy organizations around the world, Somos Amigos could have responded to the obstacles thrown at us by putting our efforts on hold.

As you know, we didn’t. We didn’t because we knew you and our other benefactors were standing beside us, encouraging us to think outside the box, to persevere, to reshape our model of care, because we knew our patients were depending on us.

Not only did we recommit ourselves to the service of our patients; we have continued to look confidently to the future. Helen Keller’s words capture our determination: As soon as covid considerations and local regulations permit, we will start to implement some of our plans to reach several thousand new patients.

Thank you for your confidence in Somos Amigos. Thank you for helping us deliver reliable and quality healthcare to humble but noble people who deserve nothing less. On their behalf, I am grateful for your recent gift. Thank you for joining us in our optimism and hope.”

When donations to Christ Church are designated to Somos Amigos, either electronically on Realm or in the memo line of a check, the Outreach Commission sees that your contribution makes its way to the proper recipient. These worthy causes include organizations that are local, national, and international. For information, please email Outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.

To learn more about Somos Amigos, feel free to speak to parishioners Shahra Toth and Dione Mahoney, who both regularly volunteer at the Naranjito clinic when circumstances permit. Former parishioners Ed and Mary Keath also have been regular volunteers, and she participated in an adult forum with Brightwell when he last visited Christ Church in March of 2020 to deliver the sermon at both worship services. (see their photo in this July 1, 2021 Outreach blog)


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

At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to support Columbia Community Care (CCC) by collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Please put any of these items in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. You can drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open, but we ask that you call (410) 381-9365 ahead of time.

Donate Personal Care and Cleaning Supplies for FISH in Bin on our Breezeway

Organizers for FISH of Howard County request household cleaning supplies such as liquid dish soap, bleach, and cleanser as well as personal items such as deodorant, shampoo, and bath soaps. The bin is on the breezeway between Old Brick and the Parish Hall.

Registration Now Open for DreamBuilders trip to Puerto Rico - January 9-15, 2022

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September of 2017. Now, four years later, thousands of Puerto Ricans are still living in damaged homes or crowded in with family members waiting for the day when their home can be made livable again. DreamBuilders will be making its second trip to the island this January to work with SBP-Puerto Rico to repair damaged homes.


We are opening registration for this trip now and will keep it open for a period of 14 days. The cost of the trip is $1300 per volunteer, which covers the flights, housing, food, and rental vehicles. Daily temperatures in San Juan for January average between 80-83 degrees. SBP has COVID protocols in place to protect its staff, the homeowners, and the volunteers. All volunteers must be vaccinated. Team size will be limited to allow for distancing, and cleaning stations are established at all project sites. More information about SBP's efforts in Puerto Rico and their COVID protocols can be found on their website: sbpusa.org. You can register as a volunteer on our website: https://dreambuildersmd.org/2022-puerto-rico-details-sign-up. You will pay half the fee upon registration ($650) so DreamBuilders can reserve the flights, housing, and rental vehicles. If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Gold at heycathy@verizon.net.

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.