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Christ Church Outreach News: June 27, 2024

Somos Amigos Holds a “FUNdraiser” that Continues Online to Bring in Donations for Insulin, Mammograms, and More

Christ Church was represented by present and former parishioners at a carnival-themed “FUNdraiser” that brought in more than $27,000 to aid the work of Somos Amigos Medical Missions. A part of the event’s auction – VIP tickets and backstage passes to meet Stephen Colbert – is still live online so it’s not too late to get in on the action.

On June 9, nearly 200 supporters came to Sylvanside Farm in Purcellville, Va., including Shahra and George Toth and former parishioners Mary and Ed Keath, who traveled from their home in Oregon (some of us had a chance to say hello to the Keaths at Christ Church worship services earlier that day).

Residents of the DC-MD-VA metro area turned out to enjoy games, music, snacks, drinks and a silent auction to benefit a good cause. Somos Amigos has provided medical and dental care in a rural area of the Dominican Republic for more than 25 years. In a video on Vimeo taped three years ago, Mary says volunteering there has helped her live out her baptismal vows. Her first trip in January 2005 and the Keaths’ subsequent trips led to the involvement of Christ Church.

On June 9, Mary was the center of attention for another reason when she took aim at Founder/Executive Director Frank Brightwell, who awaited her throw as he perched above a dunk tank (play the above video). The chance to “Dunk Frank in the Dunk Tank” was a popular part of the event. So was an auction that went from the practical – support for mammograms and the clinic’s insulin program – to the glitzy - a set of passes to a live taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Another set of Colbert passes is still up for grabs, but only for a few more days.

You can bid on E-Bay until the 9:50 p.m. deadline THIS SUNDAY, June 30th. “It’s a lot of fun to see the show, not knowing who the guests will be, meeting him afterwards,” says Brightwell, who once won a set of Late Show tickets in a similar charitable auction. Colbert is a longtime supporter of Somos Amigos, who appears in a video on Vimeo announcing the Late Show passes.

See photos of the clinic in the Outreach Blog of Feb. 22, 2024. To donate through the church to Somos Amigos, put “Somos Amigos” in the memo line on your check to Christ Church. Or go on Realm, choose Outreach from the FUND dropdown, and write “Somos Amigos” on the MEMO line.


The 2024 Lake Elkhorn Middle School Supply Drive has Begun

Our parish has had a 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 Church, we believe that we should love our neighbors and continue to have this partnership because many LEMS families are financially stressed. Over 50% of LEMS students qualify for free and reduced meals, the highest percentage amongst the middle schools in Howard County. 

This year, Tracy Williams, the counselor at LEMS, 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 supply 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. Therefore, we need over $7,500 to reach this goal.

You can learn more about this initiative and our needs on our website and can donate either online or via check. Those links are also on our website, and every donation helps a great deal.


A Hearty Thanks for Showing Interest in Friends of Sabina on June 23

Outreach members and parishioners connected virtually with leaders of the nonprofit, Friends of Sabina (FOS) after the second worship service last Sunday. We engaged with students, the sponsorship coordinator, and computer instructors who include the librarian at Sabina Boarding Primary School. The choir’s live performance was a touching highlight! Look for a link to the recorded event in future communications.

Christ Church has long supported Sabina after helping to establish its library, a resource center for residents of Sanje, Uganda. Parishioners who have traveled there include the Alperns, the Hokes, and the Aribiahs, whose ties go back to Teddy Aribiah’s childhood.

Through the Outreach Commission, we pay the librarian’s salary and other expenses. Since 2020, we have facilitated an opportunity for parishioners to support Sabina teachers or to sponsor students whose families otherwise cannot afford schooling. A photo collage of children who were matched in 2020 with sponsors appears on the FOS page of the Christ Church website. That number has grown to 14, and FOS now seeks to expand its teachers’ support. To learn how you can help, please email


CCC Requests Diapers, Seeks Volunteer Translators and Shoppers

Columbia Community Care (CCC) continues to recruit volunteers to help it serve individuals and families who lack transportation to CCC’s sites. The volunteer “shoppers” fulfill the grocery lists at its pantry, located at 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, and then deliver goods to the recipients’ homes. To volunteer, go online to sign up here. If you, or someone whom you know, is in need and lacks transportation, go online here to request a home delivery.  Find updates on the CCC Facebook Group.

Please continue to support CCC by donating baby-care items and diapers. Sizes 4-6 are in the greatest demand. Collect these along with sanitary and personal care items and adult diapers. Put them 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 its contents.


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 Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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