Christ Church Outreach News: May 19, 2022


Columbia Community Care Expands Request for Volunteers to Sort Pantry Supplies, Continues to Request Diapers, Personal Care Items

The all-volunteer organization, Columbia Community Care (CCC), is making progress in organizing its new pantry but needs more volunteer help to sort supplies. The pantry is in a county-owned building, the former home of the Columbia Flier, located at 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.


In a recent plea for volunteers posted in the CCC Facebook Group, CCC had already asked for sorters on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. With its most recent post this week, CCC added slots after Memorial Day on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can pick your own shifts during those days and hours by going online to sign up on a form that has slots three days a week through next fall.


At Christ Church, members of R.A.G.E and the Outreach Commission ask parishioners to continue supporting CCC, whose mission goes beyond helping disadvantaged families in Howard County to finding ways to address root causes. CCC’s founder, Erika Strauss-Chavarria, spoke during a recent event at River Hill High School. She was among the speakers at Adapting to a Changing World: TEDxRiverHillHS,” an independently organized TED event held in April. For those who missed the event in person but would like to view her remarks, you can find The Journey to CCC and Beyond” on YouTube. She is a Spanish teacher at Wilde Lake High School and a board member of racial justice organizations.

CCC also recently posted about a partnership with Cedar Lane School in an item of interest to parishioners who previously collected labels for Box Tops for Education, a rewards program that is now mostly online. The effort helped the school that serves special needs students in the Howard County Public School System.


These young people got a shout-out from Strauss-Chavarria. “They have been a huge help in organizing items for CCC,” she wrote, going on to thank the school’s Meghan Smallwood “for writing this description of the work the students have been doing, and for the amazing partnership!” Accompanied by photos of students engaged in their tasks, CCC posted the description in the CCC Facebook Group:

“Many of the Cedar Lane High School students have assisted Columbia Community Care during their Career Skills classes this year. Students have helped to break down and measure bulk packages into smaller bags for donations with a variety of items, including diapers, baby wipes, sugar, flour, and rice. This has been a great task for the students and has allowed them to practice so many different skills while helping their community. Students have been able to increase their independence, and have looked forward to completing these jobs each week. Both staff and students are happy to be able to support Columbia Community Care with such a meaningful experience!”

For more information about Cedar Lane School, whose graduates include our own Kristin Cheong, you may contact Pamela Torgerson in the principal’s office at pamela_torgersen@hcpss.org.


For CCC, please keep collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Put any of these in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. Drop off items on weekdays when the church office is open or on Sunday. The Christ Church point of contact is Violet Smith, who monitors the bins and delivers their contents for distribution at the three sites.


SAFE Offers Gluten-Free Food And Accepts Items for Distribution on May 21st

The SAFE Food Pantry, a nonprofit organization that helps people who require gluten-free and allergy-friendly groceries, will hold a distribution at its indoor location. The allergy-safe foods will be available to those in need at the NonProfit Collaborative, 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046.


The time frame is 10 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of each month. The availability is posted on the organization’s Events page. If you have safe foods to donate, you can bring them during this period. In the future, the Christ Church Building and Grounds Commission is working with SAFE to establish a drop-off on church premises. That would make it more convenient for parishioners as well as other supporters.


If you or Howard County residents whom you know are in need of such items, please come to Patuxent Woods, which is on an RTA bus line.

Another way to obtain food from SAFE is through its partnership with the Howard County Food Bank. Clients of the food bank can receive pre-bagged, non-allergenic food items when they check in for their monthly visits. For more information, please call or text a SAFE volunteer at 443-741-1060.


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 its 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.