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Christ Church Outreach News: February 29, 2024

Columbia Community Care Calls for ‘Shopper’ Volunteers to Enable Home Deliveries and Announces Plan for Separate Evening Events Next Month

When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and Maryland entered a lockdown, many students were going hungry without the school meals that they had grown to depend upon. That’s when a local teacher founded Columbia Community Care (CCC) to collect and distribute essentials to families in need. After individual parishioners began helping, Christ Church became a regular supporter in June 2020.

CCC shared its origin story – including the very first post by founder Erika Strauss-Chavarria on March 11, 2020 – but decided to go beyond an online recollection. To mark its fourth anniversary, CCC will hold a recognition event on Thursday, March 14th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at The 3rd, 10215 Wincopin Circle, Suite 100, Columbia, MD 21044. Tickets cost $75 each plus online registration fees. On CCC’s events page, the event is described as offering “Food, Drink, Entertainment, Fellowship, and Fun.” 

The mystery-themed fundraiser will be held Saturday, March 16, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 5485 Twin Knolls Rd., Columbia MD 21045. On CCC’s events page, the organization says, “$10 of each ticket will go to food and resources for students and families in Columbia.”

Admission is $95 for an individual or $85 for members of a group of four or a group of eight, plus online registration fees. Guests must be 21 or older. Admission includes a three-course dinner, tax, gratuity, free parking, and the program. “Sinister Speakeasy” is an interactive murder-mystery game conducted by Whodunnit for Hire.

CCC announced on Monday, Feb. 26, that effective immediately it has paused accepting new requests for home delivery until it clears a backlog. The notice posted on the CCC Facebook Group said there were more than 200 orders in the queue and made a plea for volunteers to fulfill these orders and deliver them to people who lack transportation.

Here is the link to sign up that includes instructions for ‘shopper’ volunteers, who start their shift at the CCC pantry, 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. “Thank you so much in advance. We can do this together!!” writes CCC’s pantry manager April Lee.

Meanwhile, CCC has added paper towels and toilet paper to its list of needed essentials. Also please keep collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Put these in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” on the breezeway between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sundays. The Christ Church point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bins and delivers their contents.

Those who need groceries and other necessities can find information on times and locations of three Saturday distribution sites by going online to the “I Need Help” portion of CCC’s website. Or learn how to volunteer at the sites by going to the “I Can Help” portion of its website

Look for the FISH Bin on the Breezeway

FISH of Howard County needs non-perishable foods and toiletries, which we collect in the basket at the altar or in a marked yellow bin that was moved inside the Parish Hall during cold weather. At the current time, it is back under the breezeway between the office and Old Brick. FISH provides committed support to select families in need. The neighbors you help give thanks for all you do in their support.

Refugee Ministry News

Please join members of our interfaith refugee ministry at a Refugee Shabbat at the Columbia Jewish Congregation on March 8th at 7:30 p.m. Naimatullah, the father in the “second family” of Afghan refugees we have connected with, will speak about the harrowing journey of his family’s personal refugee experience. The service is at The Meeting House (the Oakland Mills interfaith center) in Oakland Mills, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia. All are invited.

In other RM news, St. Andrews Episcopal in Glenelg is reaching out to sister parishes for assistance in finding two host families for two teenage Afghan refugees who are under their care. After spending nearly two years in a UAE refugee camp, Najiba and Faramarz received authorization to come to the U.S. in July 2023. Since then, they’ve lived with the former rector of St. Andrews and her family. They are currently in 9th grade at Glenelg High School but would relocate to a new school if needed. We seek families who can take them separately for at least one year, starting in June 2024. Please visit for more information on Najiba and Faramarz. If you might be interested in hosting and would like to learn more, please contact Deacon Denise at

Help an Eagle Scout!

Jonah Aribiah, Christ Church parishioner, Youth Liason to the Vestry, and Eagle Scout with Troop 617, is looking for assistance to help complete his Eagle Scout Project. It involves the construction and installation of five raised garden beds that will benefit Homewood Center school, a Title 1 Howard County Public School, located in Columbia Maryland. Schools are designated as Title 1 schools if they have a large percentage of students from low income families and receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch meals. Being a Title 1 school, many of the students are from low-income families, and given the current high food prices, my project will be beneficial to the Homewood Center by providing the students a space where they can learn how to grow their own food and vegetables and transfer this knowledge to their home communities. This will go a long way in helping alleviate the food insecurity in the County. Growing ecology-friendly in-season food and providing a natural habitat for pollinators is also beneficial to the environment. If you are interested, please speak with Jonah on Sundays or email him at

DreamBuilders Registration for the Triple Blitz Build

Registration is now open for Triple Blitz Build in Hazard, Kentucky, taking place from June 16-22. After a successful trip last summer building two houses for those in need, we are headed back to Hazard, Kentucky this June to make an even bigger impact! If you would like to make a life-long impact on three flood-impacted families, come join us for this week-long trip.  No experience necessary - we’ll teach you everything you need to know, and you’ll have a fun and rewarding experience.  The total cost is $700. and you must have completed 9th grade to join us. Registration is open until March 4th, and we can only take 36 people, so act now! You can register at Questions? Speak with Cathy Gold or Stacey Frith, or email


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