Multiple Ways to Aid the Less Fortunate in Howard County
You’ll recall that on a sunny fall day, slightly more than a year ago, Christ Church held one of its periodic food drives to collect non-perishables for the Howard County Food Bank. How could we imagine then that our string of successful drives at Giant supermarkets would be interrupted by a pandemic! Alas, like so many things, these drives cannot resume until 2021. Instead, we invite you to do two things.
The first is to recall the year-ago outing (pictured above), when we collected 953 pounds of food and $192 in cash on Sept. 28, 2019, from shoppers at the Palace Giant. While reflecting on the camaraderie and accomplishments of that drive and the people who - then and now - need our help, please take heart that opportunities to work together in hands-on outreach will come again.
The second is to consider responding to the county government’s Fall Food Drive. On Oct. 17th from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Department of Recreation & Parks will host the drive at its headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Road. Items will be donated to the Community Action Council’s Food Assistance Program at the Howard County Food Bank. Right now, it is in need of a list of items that may sound familiar to all of you apron-wearing veterans of the Christ Church in-person drives. Here’s the Food Bank’s current list: canned and dried fruit, hot and cold cereal; soup; pasta and pasta sauce; tuna; 100 percent fruit juice; baby food; diapers and wipes; peanut butter; canned beans (pinto, kidney, and black); and low-sodium canned vegetables. For questions or more information, the county suggests that you email email@example.com.
If you wish to obtain food availability information not related to the drive, the county offers a food aid map (click here) as an online resource of distribution sites. It is updated at least weekly, in cooperation with Howard County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD).
Columbia Community Care Settles Into Two-Days-A-Week Routine
Providing food and other necessities for neighbors in need, Columbia Community Care (CCC), has consolidated operations to three sites, which welcome drop-off donations during operating hours. They are Swansfield Elementary School; Oakland Mills Middle School, and Howard High School. The times are Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. (CCC volunteers report at 4 p.m.) and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (CCC volunteers report at 9:30 a.m.) In addition to staffing a site, volunteers can sign up on Facebook to perform duties to meet the needs of people without transportation. “Translator/dispatchers” coordinate lists of items for specific families and communicate by text message to arrange the contactless deliveries; “Shoppers,” who use cellphones to receive the texts, go to special pantries that have been established at two participating churches and assemble the items to fulfill each shopping list, and then deliver the goods to the assigned addresses. Several parishioners have volunteered in various capacities or donated to CCC. This ad-hoc group formed last spring in response to the coronavirus impact, which has especially hard hit the county’s low-income residents. Here’s a recent article about CCC that appeared in The Baltimore Sun last month.
For those of you who wish to drop off non-perishable food items, diapers, or personal care products in CCC-marked donation bins, you can do so at one of the two churches: Bethel Korean Presbyterian Church, 3165 St. Johns Lane in Ellicott City or New Hope Church,12350 Hall Shop Rd. in Fulton, or at these participating businesses: Bonheur Patisserie & Deli, 7106 Minstrel Way; Philly’s Best, 5134 Thunder Hill Rd., and LA Mart, 5865 Robert Oliver Place, all in Columbia.
Bridges Partners with Periodic Table for Oct. 15th Fundraiser
If you missed the Chili & Challenge fundraiser or wish to re-live the experience of wining and/or dining for a good cause, Bridges to Housing Stability is holding an event from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15th. Its “Taste of Wine, Splash of Charity” will take place at The Periodic Table, 8808 Centre Park Drive in Columbia. Enjoy a safe night out with loved ones or pick up dinner for the family. Get your tickets by noon on Monday, Oct. 12th to help Bridges provide affordable housing to prevent & end homelessness: https://bit.ly/towsoc5.
For anyone who has suggestions about ways to help the community or want to get involved, please email Christ Church Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.