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Christ Church Outreach News: June 22, 2023

UNICEF Gets Help for Its Humanitarian Aid in Ukraine, Sudan, and Chad

After a natural disaster or devastation caused by war, children worldwide become the victims. That’s true in two war-torn countries where humanitarian aid is desperately needed. This month, Christ Church responded to children’s needs by donating funds to UNICEF for aid in Ukraine and Sudan.

On June 6, an attack on a hydroelectric dam in southern Ukraine caused disastrous flooding in an area already suffering in the war with Russia. By the next day, thousands were fleeing for their lives, many of them children. UNICEF helped families in coordination with the Ukrainian government.

One 6-year-old girl named Masha escaped with her mother, bringing little more than the child’s teddy bear. “Today, for the first time in my life, I went in a boat,” Masha told UNICEF. “I was afraid of drowning at first, but I didn’t.”

Residents who were evacuated from about 40 towns and villages lacked safe drinking water and were threatened by waterborne diseases. UNICEF distributed bottled water, purification tablets, and hygiene kits, among other aid.

In Sudan, intense fighting in a civil conflict has injured 1,700 children and increased the risk of malnutrition among many more. UNICEF is also on the ground in neighboring Chad, where conditions for more than 600,000 refugees are perilous.

UNICEF’s response has focused on securing critical medicines, sustaining health services, and addressing water and nutrition needs. During one crisis in Sudan, UNICEF helped rescue nearly 300 orphans, according to a June 9 report on NPR.

The overview of how wars have harmed children worldwide, as described in a UNICEF report, was the topic of a PBS Newshour interview on Thursday, June 8.

At the Christ Church Outreach Commission meeting on June 12, members voted to contribute $400 to UNICEF to assist in humanitarian relief in Sudan and $400 for efforts in Ukraine. This is in keeping with our mission to support organizations – local, national, and international – that enhance the lives of people in need. These were derived from parishioner donations to Outreach and a Vestry-approved budget drawn from your pledges and contributions. Heartfelt thanks go out to one and all who make this possible.

Lake Elkhorn Middle School Supplies

Our parish enjoys an ongoing partnership with Lake Elkhorn Middle School (LEMS). Just over a mile away, LEMS is truly our neighboring school, and at Christ Episcopal Church we believe we should love our neighbors. We established this partnership because many LEMS families are financially stressed.

One measure of whether a student lives in a family that is financially challenged is if they meet the federal guidelines for free and reduced meals (FARMS). In Howard County overall, about 14% of students qualify for free and reduced meals. However, at LEMS over 48.5% of LEMS students qualify for FARMS, the highest percentage amongst the middle schools in the county.

To help alleviate the financial hardship of parents having to buy school-required supplies (at a cost of $50 per child), Christ Church will once again provide school supplies for 125 children for the 2023-2024 school year. The school will distribute the supplies the week of Aug 21st, so we are requesting your generous financial support now to reach this important goal. We also will need your help delivering the supplies that week.

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. If you’d like to give online, please also write "School Supplies" in the Memo line. If you have questions about our LEMS partnership or would like to help, please contact Cathy Whittaker ( or Mary Vail ( Thank you for your support!

CCC Informs Users of Students’ Access to Free HCPSS Summer Meals

Columbia Community Care (CCC) has posted information on the CCC Group on Facebook to make its recipients and supporters aware of school efforts to address food insecurity. Please spread the word.

The Free Summer Meal Program of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) provides lunch at no charge to HCPSS students on weekdays from June 21 through Aug. 4. The meals are being served at eight schools and the Howard County Library System East Columbia Branch, 6600 Cradlerock Way in Columbia. The meals will not be served on the July 4 holiday.

Meanwhile, CCC continues the distribution of free groceries, produce, baby supplies, and essentials at three sites: Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd.; Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., and Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Rd., all in Columbia.

Recipients are welcomed on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, or when supplies run out, and volunteers are encouraged to register for their slots at each location. Those shifts last from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

At Christ Church, Leigh Smith is our representative who takes parishioners’ donated items to CCC. 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.

Donate Snacks, Crackers, and Cookies to FISH in Bin on our Breezeway

Organizers for FISH of Howard County continue to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill their shopping lists. Please put items in a basket that has been returned to the altar. Or drop them in the yellow bin on the breezeway 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 Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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