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Christ Church Outreach News: July 3, 2024

Inviting You to Join Our Monthly Outreach Meeting Next Monday, July 8

Learn many ways to help others by joining us remotely for the Outreach Commission meeting on Monday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. Our mission has a local, national, and international scope. Look for Church notices about online activities. Email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org for the Zoom details. See you there!


 

Help the Homeless on Monday, July 8, by Preparing a Dish for Grassroots’ Live-In Facility or Serving a Meal at Its Day Resource Center

On the second Monday of each month, Christ Church provides a hot midday meal for the homeless at the Day Resource Center (DRC) and drops off dinner at a live-in shelter for 50 residents. Both are operated by the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. We last participated on June 10th.


A team led by parishioner Shahra Toth makes side dishes and desserts that we serve in person at the DRC. To join us on Monday, July 8, please sign up by Sunday, July 7. If you wish to volunteer or bring food for the midday meal, our DRC online signup form describes the procedure. Drop-off time is 12:45 p.m. in the Christ Church parking lot near Old Brick for DRC’s food, drinks, and supplemental items such as fruit and granola bars. In-person volunteers gather at that time to car-pool to Jessup.


Later, parishioners who cook or shop for the evening meal at Grassroots’ Live-In Facility arrive in the Old Brick parking lot between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m. Get details in our Grassroots online signup form. Grassroots staff serves the evening meal at its Freetown Road facility. It’s efficient to provide for both venues on the same day. Your donations and Vestry-approved funds pay for the fried-chicken entrees. Thank you!


Recently, your generosity helped ease life in the summer for the homeless men and women who depend on the DRC. The center requested sports drinks that people could take with them for hydration. In response, Outreach member Dione Mahoney and her husband, Jim, delivered six cases of sports drinks on June 12th. These cost $102, purchased with funds donated to the church by parishioners who give to “General Outreach” or specifically to DRC or Grassroots. A hearty thanks from our DRC friends! 


 

LEMS School Supply Drive Update

Our parish has had a strong and successful partnership with Lake Elkhorn Middle School (LEMS) for over eight years. Just over a mile away, LEMS is truly our neighboring school, and at Christ Episcopal Church we believe that we should love our neighbors. We have this partnership because many LEMS families are under great financial stress, and over 50% of LEMS students qualify for free and reduced meals - the highest percentage among the middle schools in Howard County. During the last year, we provided school supplies for 125 students as well as supported two parent workshops by delivering dinner and offering childcare (thank you to everyone who helped us reach that goal!).


This year, Tracy Williams, LEMS Counselor, has asked for the support of Christ Church parishioners to provide school supplies for 125 children for the upcoming school year. In addition, she would be thrilled if we could buy backpacks for 50 students. It costs over $60 to buy the school-required supplies for one child and the backpacks will add to that amount. Many of you have already contributed. THANK YOU! If you haven’t, you can find out how to do that below.


We will be putting the supplies into the backpacks on Wednesday, July 24th, starting at 9:00 am in the Parish Hall. Please come and help! We also will need your help delivering the supplies on a date to be determined between August 19 – 23. The details for this part of the drive will come in upcoming Christ Church Gatherings emails and other communications, so stay tuned.


Contributions can be made via check, online, or via text:

If you’d like to write a check, please make sure you indicate “LEMS School Supplies” on the memo line. You can send it to the church, or drop it at the office or in the collection plate.


If you would like to give online via Realm, please choose "LEMS" from the FUND dropdown, and write "School Supplies" in the MEMO line. You can also use the light blue "Support Christ Church" button at the top of every page on our website for that form.


To give via text: text CECGIVING to 73256 to give using your mobile device; you'll immediately receive a link to our form. Click the link, then choose "LEMS" from the FUND dropdown menu. Please also write "School Supplies" in the MEMO line so that your donation is used as you wish. (Note: This number will never send you unsolicited texts. To cancel further messages, simply text STOP. If you need assistance with text giving, text HELP. Standard text message and data rates may apply).


If you have questions about our LEMS partnership or would like to help, please speak with Cathy Whittaker at church, or email lemssupplies@christchurchcolumbia.org. Thank you very much for your support.


 

Columbia Community Care takes a Holiday Break, Moves Its Pantry

Columbia Community Care (CCC) will close its pantry and distribution sites on Saturday, July 6 for the Independence Day holiday weekend.


Distribution sites will reopen on Saturday, July 13, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at its Long Reach Village site and its two other locations: Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd.; Columbia, MD, 21044, and The Barn at Oakland Mills Village Center, 5853 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD 21045.


Beginning immediately, CCC has a dual purpose for its Long Reach Village Center space in Suite 107, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., Columbia, MD, 21045. CCC had to move its pantry from the former Columbia Flier Building to Long Reach in time to reopen on Wednesday, July 10. CCC reduced its inventory and closed the pantry while in transition. Normal pantry hours will resume on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for volunteers who sort goods and carry out home deliveries.


The pantry’s former home is being cleared for conversion. The county-owned Flier building on Little Patuxent Parkway will be redeveloped as a 65,000-square-foot community center called The Source. “CCC’s community and youth programs, like PUSH and STAND, will finally have a place to grow and prosper,” CCC Executive Director Erika Strauss-Chavarria told The Columbia Patch in an April 12, 2024 article


Meanwhile, CCC continues to request baby-care items and diapers, especially sizes 4-6 and pullups in sizes 3T, 4T and 5T. Put these along with sanitary and personal care items and adult diapers in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside 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 bin and delivers items.


Those who need groceries and other necessities can find information by going online to “Get Help” on CCC’s website. Or learn how to volunteer at distribution sites or as a translator or shopper at its pantry. Find updates on the CCC Facebook Group.


 

Look for the FISH Bin on the Breezeway near the Parish Hall

FISH of Howard County requests non-perishable foods and toiletries, which we collect in the basket at the altar or in a marked yellow bin on the breezeway between the Parish Hall 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.


 

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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