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Christ Church Outreach News: January 26, 2023


Clock is Ticking as Amazon Smile Disappears as a Support for Charities

Many of the partner organizations that Christ Church supports – near and far – have relied on a revenue stream that will soon end. People who order online from Amazon have been able to designate a charity that benefits with each purchase. Now the program, called AmazonSmile, will cease on Feb. 20, 2023.

On its website in a Jan. 18 announcement, Amazon said: “In 2013, we launched AmazonSmile to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities. However, after almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.”

The eligible organizations have been receiving a contribution of .5% of every purchase on AmazonSmile’s site to the customer’s designated charity. It’s a small amount but volume matters, and the nonprofits who participate have told us it truly makes a difference.

If you are planning to make Amazon purchases, consider doing so between now and Feb. 20 to help the charitable partner that you had designated. The websites of several non-profit organizations that Christ Church supports are linked to AmazonSmile. These include:

Bridges to Housing Stability, whose mission is “Solving Homelessness with Housing” in Howard County. This link takes you directly to its section on AmazonSmile.


Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities, whose U.S. nonprofit organization, CCD-USA, directs our support for physical therapists’ salaries. CCD helps “differently abled” children in Thailand live fulfilling lives. This link takes you directly to its section on AmazonSmile.

Columbia Community Care (CCC), which distributes food, diapers and essentials and offers programs to increase equity in the county. It’s plea to order before Amazon’s deadline was posted Jan. 24 on the CCC Facebook Group.

Community Action of Howard County, which provides early childhood education, weatherization and eviction prevention, and food aid through the Howard County Food Bank. This link takes you to its “Other Ways to Give” display. Look for the header “Shop for a Cause.”

FISH of Howard County, which delivers food to neighbors in need and also helps with prescription costs, utility bills and other emergencies. This link takes you directly to its section on AmazonSmile.

Somos Amigos Medical Missions, which collaborate with a rural community in the Dominican Republic to provide medical and dental care. This link takes you directly to its section on AmazonSmile.




CCC Plans a Resource Fair at Howard Community College - February 4

Workshops on topics ranging from financial literacy to health and wellness are planned during “Essential Resources Day” sponsored by CCC. Services offered will include legal information, a free expungement clinic, and free childcare during the event.


It will be held Saturday, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Duncan Hall at Howard Community College. Suggested parking is in Parking Lot A. Click the image here so you can enlarge it and read the details, and please spread the word.


The Outreach Commission asks parishioners to continue supporting CCC, which updates its needs and volunteer opportunities on the CCC Group on Facebook. In general, please collect diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items and adult diapers. Put them in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sunday. Leigh Smith has become our representative, taking parishioners’ donated items to a CCC site for distribution on Saturdays.




Exploring Prison Ministry - February 7

“Lord...when did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” (Matthew 25:37-39)

As our baptismal covenant calls us to serve those on the margins and seek justice for every beloved child of God, that includes those convicted of crimes and imprisoned—those we believe have harmed others in some way. Join us via Zoom on Tuesday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. to meet Reverend Sue Beck, pastor of the Community of St. Dysmas (CSD). CSD is comprised of the Lutheran congregations within the Maryland State Correctional System. Their call is to “share the transforming power of Christ’s love with persons incarcerated...and to support them upon their release.” Pastor Sue will talk about CSD’s work within the walls of four Maryland prisons and answer questions you may have about how you could engage in this important ministry. The Zoom details will be in upcoming communications, or you can email info@christchurchcolumbia.org if you're interested.



Sleep in Heavenly Peace Project

One of our own parishioners, Gavin Couch, is involved with this important initiative, and could use your help. Gavin explains:

"Hello, my name is Gavin Couch and I am currently a life scout in Troop 874. I am working on my eagle project with Sleep in Heavenly Peace. This is an organization that builds beds and provides bedding to children who were recently homeless, but now have a place to live and need beds and bedding. I am at the beginning of my project and am collecting monetary donations and twin-sized bed-in-a-bag sets. There is also a Venmo code for monetary donations and a link to an Amazon wishlist, should you like to purchase from there. If you would like these details or have any questions, you can see me at church or email info@christchurchcolumbia.org and tell them you would like more information. Thank you."


Save the Date: DreamBuilders Mandatory Meeting for Summer Mission Trip - March 4

If you are interested in joining DreamBuilders to repair homes in Kentucky in June, make sure you attend our mandatory meeting on Saturday, March 4th at Temple Isaiah (12200 Scaggsville Rd., Fulton). We will have all the information you will need about the June trip, but if you have any questions before then, please email info@christchurchcolumbia.org and specify "DreamBuilders info". It’ll be a life-changing event, for you and for the people we’re helping in Kentucky. Hope to see you there!



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 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 outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.



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