top of page

Christ Church Outreach News: December 15, 2022

Immense Gratitude for a Memorable 2022 Angel Tree Drive

The Angel Tree drive will be memorable for each of the 12 children whose Christmas 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 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds 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 many of the children’s wishes, either by purchasing new items or by donating more than $200 for specific purposes such as a scooter. Please accept this hearty “Thank You!”

During the hybrid sign-up process, parishioners chose to help six girls and six boys whose families had requested items. These were arranged by category in 48 slots. For example, one wish for electronics in the “educational” category was for a tablet and headphones.

All of the “Angels” will have new clothing to wear when they return to school next month, as their needs for outfits, coats, and shoes were apparent. Several of these pre-teens likely had outgrown their old favorites or may have had few options in their closets, based on their parents’ requests to the Salvation Army. How welcome our gifts will be!

The logistics of matching parishioners to their “Angels” went smoothly thanks to Matt Gately and Sarah Rich, who set up the hybrid signup with added artistic touches, to tree-decorators Diane Phillips LaGuerre and Patricia Fanning, and to fulfillment volunteer Angela Braham. Once again, Outreach Commission member Melanie Yaksich led the drive at every step from launch to a shopping odyssey to fill gaps. Outreach used nearly $500 in Vestry-approved funds to pay for these purchases, so thanks to all who contribute to Christ Church during the year.

Sorting took place on Dec. 10 in the Parish Hall, with Fr. Manny pausing to cheer on Melanie and Angela during the process. The pair delivered the gifts to a warehouse space set up by the Salvation Army so that families in need can receive and wrap the gifts in plenty of time. From the Outreach Commission to all who took part, thanks on behalf of our dozen “Angels.”

SLYC Completes the Quilt Raffle at Its Christmas Cafe

You’ll recall seeing the beautiful quilt that was handcrafted by parishioner Nancy Winchester to benefit St. Luke’s Youth Center (SLYC). The Baltimore nonprofit completed its quilt raffle on Saturday, Dec. 10, raising more than $1,500 on the sale of tickets. Thanks to all at Christ Church who participated!

The raffle took place at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Towson, Md., with Nancy and three members of the Christ Church Outreach Commission looking on as a child drew the winning ticket. The quilt went to Jackie and Jordan Franklin, who are among SLYC’s parent leaders.

The occasion was SLYC’s annual Christmas Cafe for kids, families, and supporters. West Baltimore families collaborate in SLYC’s leadership and offerings, which include “Moms on a Mission” and an after-school program.

We heard about its founding on Sunday, Aug. 7, when Executive Director Amanda Gardner Talbot delivered the sermon at both services during a visit to Christ Church. The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is among SLYC partners, and its reparations task force awarded a grant to SYLC and five other organizations.

Columbia Community Care Holds Successful Holiday Drive, Plans a Christmas Break

From children’s books to arts and crafts, the items donated by parishioners to the 2022 holiday drive were distributed on Dec. 11 by Columbia Community Care (CCC). Our Christ Church volunteer contact, Leigh Smith, took items from the yellow bin to CCC to be added to a trove of treats and gifts for children ages 2 to 12. A long line of parents and siblings waited in chilly, damp weather outside Oakland Mills High School for the chance to obtain kids’ gifts. Inside they found tables piled high, as seen on the above photo from the CCC Facebook Group. Organizer Sue Sharff Castonguay posted: “THANK YOU!! Wow, we had a very successful Holiday Toy Drive today thanks to all of you!”

The all-volunteer organization is taking a holiday break. All sites and the pantry will be closed on Saturday, Dec. 24. But there’s no need to take a break from your participation. At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to support 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 or on Sunday.

FISH Continues to Request Snacks and Cookies in Its Yellow Bin

Our representative from FISH of Howard County had surgery earlier this year. Paul Wisniewski is recovering; please pray for his good health. A subsitute is expected to make pickups from our yellow bin between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Please continue donating cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill the shopping lists. 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 Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


bottom of page