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Christ Church Outreach News: December 14, 2023

Hearty Thanks for a Heartwarming 2023 Angel Tree Drive

What a memorable Christmas it will be for each of the 12 children whose wishes are being fulfilled, for their families, and for all the helpers who have made it happen. We focused our support on a group of middle-school age “Angels” to meet a need identified by the Howard County (Central Maryland) division of The Salvation Army. It sponsors the Angel Tree in Howard County and elsewhere.

Generous parishioners granted all of the children’s wishes, either by purchasing new items or by donating funds that went toward purchasing 12 pairs of shoes.

Soon after Thanksgiving, you rapidly filled up all 48 slots on the Christ Church 2023 Angel Tree SignUp. Our “angels” will be receiving gifts such as a scooter, snow pants, a soccer ball, twin sheets, and a comforter. And, thanks to you, each “Angel” will have new clothing to wear when returning to school next month.

Outreach Commission member Melanie Yaksich led the drive, which culminated in sorting on Dec. 9 in the Parish Hall. Fr. Manny paused to cheer on Melanie, Angela Braham, and Jenny Cecil during the process. Next step: delivery to a warehouse space set up by the Salvation Army (see photos). The timing allows families in need to receive and wrap their children’s gifts in plenty of time. From the Outreach Commission to all who took part, please accept this hearty “Thank You!”

The WOCC Christmas Luncheon Brings Cheer to Springfield Hospital

Members of the WOCC and attendees brought gifts for Springfield Hospital to the WOCC's Annual Christmas Feast at King's Contrivance Restaurant last weekend. The many bags full of presents were then delivered to Andrea Pastor from Springfield Hospital Volunteer Services, who was very grateful for everyone's contributions. You can view all of the photos from the luncheon and the delivery of the presents on our website's WOCC Blog. Deepest thanks to all of you who helped raise some Christmas cheer for those at Springfield, a very worthy cause.

Friends of Sabina Invites a Parishioner to Sponsor 15-year-old Lydia

Leaders of the nonprofit, Friends of Sabina (FOS), are currently seeking a sponsor for 15-year-old Lydia, whose destitute family resorted to interrupting her schooling to help make ends meet. The girl went to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, to work as a housemaid. But now she has returned home to Sanje, Uganda, and re-enrolled at Sabina Boarding Primary School, which Christ Church supports through the Outreach Commission.

“She has high potential as she has always placed high in her class,” according to FOS, which since taking over operation of Sabina strives to help students excel in their studies despite personal obstacles. Lydia’s favorite subject is English and favorite hobby is netball (see photo). She comes from a family of five whose father is deceased and whose mother works as a food vendor. You can learn more about Lydia here, and for more information, please email Christ Church Outreach at

Sponsors commit to fund an annual scholarship, which for a primary-level student such as Lydia, costs $50 a month or $600 a year. Another goal is to form relationships, like family across the miles. FOS helps accomplish that goal through its newsletters and by encouraging an exchange of letters and occasional video calls. FOS leader Ann Marie Davis, while on site in Uganda, arranged a video call with sponsors a few days ago.

A group of parishioners began to sponsor nine students at Sabina in 2020 and embraced two more earlier this year. Find a photo collage of seven of the nine children, pictured in 2020, on the FOS page of the Christ Church website. Sponsorship of Roger, 10, and Phionah, 15, came about in July during a Zoom session with parishioners. See it on our website: An Incredibly Heartwarming Zoom Recap with Friends of Sabina”.

A highlight of that session was a children’s choir performance, posted as FOS Choir July 23, 2023 on the Christ Church YouTube channel. “The children’s choir is lovely; we enjoy listening to them on campus,” says Davis, noting the rendition of “Sanctus-Latin” had been part of a prize-winning repertoire during a regional competition.

Columbia Community Care Recruits Volunteers on Friday, Dec. 15, to Transport Holiday Items for Kids’ Giveaway the Next Day at OMHS   

Columbia Community Care (CCC) has asked volunteers to help transport donated items for its holiday kids’ giveaway this weekend. Volunteers are needed Friday, Dec. 15, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to take toys and books from the CCC pantry to Oakland Mills High School (OMHS). The pantry is located at 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. The goods will be distributed during the annual giveaway starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, at OMHS, 9410 Kilimanjaro Rd., Columbia. Check the CCC Facebook Group for updates or, to sign up to transport goods or volunteer at OMHS on Saturday, go to this CCC SignUpGenius link.

Please help CCC replenish its inventory of baby wipes and diapers, especially sizes 3 through 6. Put these, along with sanitary and personal care items and adult diapers, in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. Our point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bin and delivers its contents.

Please Donate All Kinds of Grocery Non-Perishables and Toiletries to FISH

FISH of Howard County needs non-perishable foods and toiletries. FISH provides committed support to select families in need. Please put donations in the basket at the altar or in the marked yellow bin on the breezeway between Old Brick and Parish Hall. The neighbors you help give thanks for all you do in their support.

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 Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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