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Christ Church Outreach News: March 16, 2023


Columbia Community Care Recruits Gardening Volunteers and Plans a Spring Fun Run/Walk as It Marks Three Years Since Its Founding

As Spring 2023 arrives, Columbia Community Care(CCC) is looking back at its establishment during the early days of the pandemic and calling attention to plans for outdoor activities on upcoming weekends.


On Saturday, April 8 at 9 a.m., volunteers will converge on the CCC pantry building to help kick off a gardening project that will allow CCC to grow its own healthy produce. The Community Ecology Institute has partnered with CCC on the project. It has installed a series of raised garden beds on the grounds of the former Columbia Flier building that Howard County made available to CCC for its pantry and headquarters.


Please come to 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia to learn what will be planted and help out as needed. “Come learn what we will be growing at our community garden and how to contribute your gardening skills and time to growing our own produce for our CCC families,” CCC posted last week on the CCC Group on Facebook. It contains a link to a CCC signup form with slots throughout the year and says: “We appreciate you lending your gardening expertise.”


On Saturday, April 22, CCC will hold a Spring Fun Run/Walk starting at 9 a.m with a kickoff party at the Columbia Flier building. The run/walk start time is 10 a.m. Advance registration costs $20 or $10 for children ages 12 and under. Same-day registration for adults is $25. Registration is preferred by April 15. To register, go online to CCC events.


All registered participants will get discount cards to Feet First Sports, located at 5305 Village Center Dr., Suite 110, in Wilde Lake Center. The course ends at the center, where the Wilde Lake Village will be holding a village board election party.


Wilde Lake is also the site of one of CCC’s three distribution centers where, as usual, volunteers will be distributing goods to less fortunate neighbors. The Wilde Lake Interfaith Center is located at 10431 Twin Rivers Rd. Free groceries, produce, baby supplies, and household essentials also are distributed on Saturdays at Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., and at The Barn in Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, all in Columbia.


Recipients are welcomed 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. Signups for volunteers are posted through the end of the year according to site: Wilde Lake, Long Reach, and Oakland Mills.


CCC started as an all-volunteer organization that came together in 2020 at the outset of the pandemic. Last year, Howard County honored CCC with a “Rise to the Challenge Award for “dedication and resiliency” in response to the coronavirus. CCC Executive Director Erika Strauss Chavarria posted on the CCC Group on Facebook on Tuesday, March 14 as she looked back on the fear and uncertainty at the outset of the pandemic. The founder of CCC was then a teacher at Wilde Lake High School who first posted on March 11, 2020 about her concerns that students would go hungry if schools closed.

This week she wrote: “I cannot believe I am writing this, but Happy 3rd birthday to Columbia Community Care!!! THREE YEARS AGO TODAY this FB group was created and it has been a whirlwind since then. So much growth, so much pain, so much love, so much care. Thank you to every single person who has contributed to CCC and allowed us to continue supporting HoCo families. A special shout out to Meg Dacey Feroli (CCC administrator) without whom CCC would not exist.”


Since its founding in 2020, CCC has gained more than 8,000 members on Facebook and has attained 501(c)(3) status. In 2022, Christ Church parishioners played a part in refurbishing its pantry building and stocking the shelves so that home deliveries could resume after a hiatus.


At Christ Church, Leigh Smith is our representative who takes parishioners’ donated items to CCC. Members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to continue supporting CCC by collecting 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.



SLYC Invites Christ Church Volunteers to “Help Spruce up the Place”

A cleanup day will be held by St. Luke’s Youth Center (SLYC) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 25. “SLYC is sprucing up the place. Join us to help clean up the St. Luke’s campus and West Baltimore community,” leaders said in an invitation to Christ Church. The location is 217 N. Carey St., Baltimore, MD 21223. For information, please email outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.


Christ Church is among the area congregations that support SLYC, which is the former St. Luke’s Episcopal parish. The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is among the partners, and its reparations task force awarded a grant to SYLC and five other organizations in 2022.



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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