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Christ Church Outreach News: November 30, 2023


Parishioners Step Up, as Children’s Angel Tree Wish List Fills Up

Soon after the Angel Tree went up in the Narthex, parishioners wholeheartedly embraced our annual tradition of brightening Christmas for a dozen children. Between Thanksgiving and the Dec. 8 deadline, the Outreach Commission invited parishioners to purchase new clothing and special items to complete Christmas gift packages.


Our 'angels' are children ages 8 to 13, chosen to meet a need identified by the Howard County (Central Maryland) division of The Salvation Army. The nonprofit organization oversees the Angel Tree initiative here and elsewhere.

You’ve signed up to provide a total of 48 gifts for girls and boys who are represented by tags that remain on the tree. Each child receives an outfit (pants and a top). Besides the clothing, there are three other categories for each angel: Need, Wish, and Favorite item.


Those who have signed up can view the list and your gift choices by going online to the Christ Church 2023 Angel Tree SignUp. It has instructions on the next steps. The most important is to label the bag containing your purchase with the name and ID number of each child (e.g., Joseph - HC281A).


The deadline to bring your unwrapped gifts is 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8. Put them under the tree or in the Parish Hall Operations Room. To take part by giving of your time, please volunteer on Saturday, Dec. 9, to collate packages or shop for -- but not pay for -- any unmet items. To volunteer, specify “Fulfillment” in an email to outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org.


The aim is to lift the hearts not only of the angels but of their families. Parents obtain unwrapped gifts from The Salvation Army to prepare for a brighter Christmas than they could otherwise afford.



Columbia Community Care Plans Holiday Help for Kids

Columbia Community Care (CCC) has announced holiday activities to help kids and their families, aiming for a children’s holiday giveaway at Oakland Mills High School at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. Check the CCC Facebook Group for updates to find out how to do your part. Or, if you wish to volunteer for duties such as sorting at CCC’s pantry, go to the “I Can Help” portion of its website. Please keep collecting diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Put them in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. Our point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bin and delivers its contents.



Please Donate All Kinds of Grocery Non-Perishables and Toiletries to FISH

FISH of Howard County needs non-perishable foods and toiletries. FISH provides committed support to select families in need. Please put donations in the basket at the altar or in the marked yellow bin on the breezeway between Old Brick and Parish Hall. The neighbors you help are grateful for all you do in their support.


Somos Amigos Sends Thanks for Helping Obtain Emilio’s Hearing Aids

During a fund-raising effort in September, Christ Church parishioners generously responded to an appeal by the Outreach Commission to help a hearing-impaired patient of Somos Amigos Medical Missions. Emilio, 23, had been diagnosed with congenital hearing loss as an 8-year-old boy.


Specialists recommended hearing aids, accessories, and fittings for both ears. In response, the Outreach Commission donated $1,000 in vestry-approved Outreach budget funds and raised the balance of projected expenses in parishioners’ donations. Somos Amigos volunteers and parishioners Dione and Jim Mahoney presented a check from Christ Church for $3,695 during the October clinic in the Dominican Republic.


In a letter to Christ Church, Executive Director Frank Brightwell recalled Somos Amigos' humble beginnings and their growth over 26 years as “our patients like Emilio found acceptance, genuine concern, and a quality of care unrivaled in the region.”


“We have always faced one significant challenge: how do we persuade people that they should be concerned about the healthcare of an isolated population on the side of a mountain in the Dominican Republic? But you do, all of you at Christ Church, and your support propels us to continue to strive for more. We are grateful for the trust you have placed in us.”


“Thank you for your recent gift of $3,695, to be used for hearing aids and related support for Emilio. Thank you for caring, with us, about him and our other brothers and sisters who rely on us for quality and reliable healthcare.”


Brightwell plans to visit Christ Church on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. Please save the date. He most recently delivered the sermon at worship services last fall. (His remarks begin at approximately 28 minutes into the archived video for Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, on YouTube.)



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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