CEC Outreach News: October 29, 2020

How to Obtain Free Food on Oct. 30th, or to Spread the News to Help Others

A Farmers to Families distribution will take place this Friday, Oct. 30th, at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center Parking Lot located at 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia, MD 21044, from 10a.m. to 12 noon. The FREE Food Box Pick Up is open to anyone in need of fresh food. You will receive a 35-pound box of fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. First-come-first-served, one box per car, with no residency requirement. You can see the flier HERE.


Bridges Continues to Play a Role in Parishioners Lives in Unexpected Ways

Surely everyone recalls the excitement this fall as Christ Church won the Silver Ladle Award during the Chili & Challenge fundraiser for Bridges to Housing Stability, but for some households that thrill didn’t stop in September. Outreach Commission members Sonni Aribiah and Patricia Fanning each became winning bidders in the Bridges’ silent auction and that, in turn, produced benefits for the Aribiah family and friends as well as for future bidders in the Christ Church auction that will take place from Nov. 7-14. Meanwhile, there have been subsequent developments for the nonprofit organization that supporters will find of great interest.

But first things first. When Bridges held its auction to help end homelessness through housing, Sonni fought off several competing bids to secure the item, “Soccer Session with Freddy Adu.” It was described this way on the online auction site: “Starting the 2004 season at only 14 years of age, Adu became the youngest athlete to ever participate in modern professional team sports and at D.C. united, Adu broke several records. The certificate was redeemable for one hour of one-on-one training with Freddy Adu and the autographed Freddy Adu Flashback playing card is a souvenir of the lesson.” The item was promoted as “the perfect gift for the budding soccer star in your life,” who in this case is Luke Aribiah. And the convenient location for instruction was Oakland Mills High School (OMHS).

The session went so well that Sonni arranged to pay for a subsequent lesson that would include not only Luke, who attends Dunloggin Middle School, but also his longtime friend, Greyson Dove, who attends Lake Elkhorn Middle School and -- in pre-pandemic days -- accompanied Luke to Sunday School at Christ Church. He was joined at OMHS by his dad, David Dove. The fathers observed their sons during the lesson (see photo), although Sonni did more than watch as he retrieved any soccer balls that went wide of the net. Adu said he supports Bridges because affordable housing meant a lot to his own family when he was growing up in Rockville and then in Potomac, Md. According to Adu’s Wikipedia entry, he was already playing soccer at age 8 when his mother won the Green Card Lottery and his family immigrated from Ghana in 1997.

The rest of the Bridges’ auction had a favorable outcome for Christ Church parishioners as well. There were so many components contained in two separate items that their winning bidder, Patricia Fanning, was able to convert these to several entries in the upcoming Christ Church auction.


In October, Bridges conducted a successful fundraising event that several parishioners supported at The Periodic Table in Columbia, released its 2020 annual report, and received a Rise to the Challenge grant funded by the CARES Act. Its executive director, Jen Broderick, said Bridges was honored to have been chosen by Howard County to receive one of the grants. “This funding will allow Bridges to make needed safety changes and upgrades resulting in housing and eviction prevention services for more Howard County households at this critical time,” she said. In their annual report, you can read about its efforts such as the vital Alliance Program that has expanded to serve 141 people living in 42 affordable rental homes. Because Bridges tenants pay less than market rate, they spend an average of just 31 percent of their incomes on rent compared with many low-income renters in the county who must spend more than 50 percent on housing. The annual report also lists board members for Fiscal 2021, including Christ Church parishioner James Collins.


It’s Not Too Late to Support the Diocese of Maryland Sutton Scholars

Even if you missed the virtual gala on Oct. 27th, you can still be a part of “Building a Better Baltimore, One Scholar at a Time.” The Sutton Scholars® High School Enrichment Program, founded by the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, supports Baltimore City youth (see photo of two of the scholars on our website).


Several participants in the most recent Christ Church “Conversations on Race” asked about ways to improve the lives and educational outcomes of young people in underserved neighborhoods in Baltimore. Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton had asked that same question and, in 2008, directed the Diocese “to identify areas of need among Baltimore City youth that we could help address.” To read about what transpired, you can go to the scholars’ program portion of the Diocese website. The gala raised about $42,000 but contributions are still essential to support the high school students and their mentors. That’s because the cost to sponsor one student is $3750 per year, or $15,000 for all four years, according to the Sutton Scholars’ donation page. You can also watch a recording of the gala on YouTube.

Springfield Hospital Christmas Gifts

We will once again be collecting Christmas gifts for our friends at Springfield Hospital.  This has been a particularly difficult year for them, as they have been unable to have visits due to the pandemic. Though we haven’t been able to make our usual visits, we will be gathering gifts for them to bring a little Christmas Joy.  If you would like to contribute, we have placed a large container in the Tower Room to accept your unwrapped donations, before December 14th.  If that’s inconvenient, please contact Cathy Gold and we will find a way. heycathy@verizon.net or (410) 440-4178.

DreamBuilders: Save the Dates for our Third Desk Build!

The DreamBuilders’ first two efforts at building portable and foldable desks for students was so successful, and the demand for our desks is so great, we will be hosting a third event in November! As before, we’ll be working on two successive Saturdays - November 7th and 14th. We will be moving our work site inside, to a large warehouse. As before, we will include social distancing, masks, family teams, and other measures to minimize potential exposure to the coronavirus. We are especially looking for family teams to work the multi-person work stations. 

  • Nov. 7th registration

  • Nov. 14th registration


Baltimore International Seafarers' Center Donations

The Seafarers charity is again requesting donations from Christ Episcopal Church. The group is looking for warm hats for men, 2021 Calendars, and copies of the following magazines : Time ; People;  Sports Illustrated; National Geographic. These items may be placed in the bin marked 'Seafarers' in the vestibule of New Brick. Thank you for your attention to this important community outreach. To learn more, click here.


For anyone who has suggestions about ways to help the community or want to get involved, please email Christ Church Outreach at outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.

Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.

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