Christ Church Outreach News: April 20, 2023
It’s Here! Our Food Drive Takes Place this Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m. at River Hill Giant Supermarket as Christ Church Resumes a Pre-Pandemic Tradition
Be a part of the action – whether or not you signed up in advance – as we hold the first Christ Church Food Drive since 2019 at a local Giant supermarket. The goal: engage shoppers in collecting hundreds of pounds of non-perishable groceries for the Howard County Food Bank and – new this year – for its partner, SAFE Food Pantry (SAFE).
Many of you have already signed the clipboard to take a shift of an hour, or more. Walk-ins will be welcome, too. Plan to bring your kids, as Christ Church resumes a hands-on, family-friendly activity that had been halted by the pandemic. On Saturday, April 22, from noon to 4 p.m., come to River Hill Giant, 6050 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville, MD 21029.
We need plenty of volunteers to participate in collecting groceries for the food bank, which is operated by the Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC), and for SAFE. If you would prefer not to pull a shift but want to clear your own grocery shopping from a “to-do” list, why not shop at River Hill? You can look for the items on the lists we’ll hand out for CAC and for SAFE, which provides free gluten-free and allergy-safe foods.
The need is great due to inflation and the end of federal emergency food assistance tied to the pandemic. Low-income households struggle, especially those buying groceries to meet dietary restrictions. In Howard County, that’s where SAFE steps in through its partnership with CAC. SAFE also partners with Grace Episcopal Church and with Christ Church as sites for its county-wide donation bins. You may have noticed ours near the rear of Old Brick.
While supplies last, we have Christ Church T-shirts in adult and youth sizes to wear during the drive. That way, shoppers will see that you’re representing Christ Church. For information, please email email@example.com.
Salvation Army Gets Aid for Tornado Victims in Arkansas, Neighboring States
On March 31, violent tornadoes tore through Little Rock and other parts of Arkansas. Widespread damage is still being felt. In communities such as Wynne, Ark., churches and the high school were destroyed, keeping children out of class until April 12. It was just one of the multiple tornadoes that struck Arkansas and neighboring states, devastating areas from Bollinger County, Mo., to Sullivan County, Ind. The Salvation Army, which has a disaster plan in place, responded rapidly – helping those in the path of destruction with meals, water, and emotional and spiritual care.
Christ Church responded, too. On behalf of parishioners, members of the Outreach Commission voted at its meeting on April 10 to contribute $400 to Salvation Army disaster relief, sending $200 to Arkansas and $200 to neighboring states. It is the latest in a series of disaster-relief donations, including a donation to the Salvation Army last month to aid tornado survivors in Mississippi and one earlier this year to UNICEF to help earthquake victims in Syria and Türkiye. These are Vestry-approved funds derived from your pledges and contributions. Please accept heartfelt thanks for making these donations possible.
Baltimore Area Aftercare Program
As a community of those who follow the way of Jesus and his teachings, Christ Church commits to reaching out in multiple ways to serve people on the margins. We seek to meet the needs of others in broad and various walks of life. We help those who’ve lost a way to navigate safety under trying circumstances, such as the Afghan refugee family we sponsor. And we help people with little-to-no resources due to treacherous storms and weather, like those in Kentucky and Puerto Rico. We do not judge others as to what things they could have done differently to avoid their circumstances. Instead, we reach out time and again, as Christians who put our love of Christ before anyone or anything else.
With this same vigor, we can serve those returning home from prison. Those who’ve lost connection with family, those who need help with basic items such as a toothbrush and a little cash in hand. Those who may not qualify for social services because they stand judged by the history of who they’d been and what they’d done—instead of whom they have become. Christ Church can proudly say we minister to incarcerated individuals. In spite of the stringent limitations placed not only on inmates but on visitors, our own Kathy Lyon still finds a way to provide wonderful art classes to inmates at a pre-release center in Maryland. We also give some financial support to another organization to provide spiritual reading materials for inmates. These comforts can keep an inmate hopeful about the future, by just knowing someone cares.
Now it's time to help care for those recently released, or soon to be released, from prison into society. Let's help them see a new way of life and give them a chance to walk a new path. Such a program exists under the leadership of Deacon Les Roberts, also known as Brother Les. Brother Les leads the Baltimore Area Aftercare Program (BAAP). This program serves individuals who’ve been recently released from jails or prisons, by providing basic toiletry items and clothing. BAAP needs our help! All we have to do is donate one or more of the basic items requested. The SignUpGenius link with those items is at - https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C4EA8A92DAAFFC70-april.
Thank you for your commitment to serving those on the margins!
Columbia Community Care Requests Diapers, Personal Care Items
Please continue supporting Columbia Community Care (CCC) by giving essentials and with your time and talent. Please look for updates, such as requests for volunteers, posted in the CCC Facebook Group or on the “I Can Help” portion of its website. Please keep collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Put items in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. Drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sundays. Our point of contact is Leigh Smith, who delivers the contents of the bin.
Donate Snacks, Crackers, and Cookies to FISH in Bin on our Breezeway
Organizers for FISH of Howard County are continuing to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill their shopping lists. The yellow bin is back in its spot between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Thanks for your contributions to our neighbors in need.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.