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Christ Church Outreach News: October 19, 2023


Somos Amigos Gets Our Check, Hastening Emilio’s New Hearing Aids Made Possible by Christ Church Funds and Your Generous Donations

After a successful fund-raising effort conducted in September at Christ Church, parishioners Dione and Jim Mahoney presented a check for $3,695 to Frank Brightwell, executive director of Somos Amigos Medical Missions on the opening day of its fall clinic in the Dominican Republic. The funds will help Emilio, 23, a patient of Somos Amigos since boyhood who suffers from congenital hearing loss.


Specialists earlier this year recommended that Emilio receive hearing aids for both ears that with accessories and fittings would cost approximately $3,500. Of that amount, the Outreach Commission sought to raise $750 in parishioners’ donations. In an outpouring of selflessness, you gave $945, exceeding our goal by nearly $200. Thank You!


The balance of expenses for Emilio’s aids and audiology care comes from $1,000 in vestry-approved Outreach budget funds and $1,750 donated by Somos Amigos supporters at Christ Church.


“We learned from the audiologist that high-quality hearing aids could make a huge difference in the young man's life, allowing him to socialize in ways he has never experienced,” said Brightwell. Meanwhile, Emilio’s mother expressed happiness that the hearing aids for Emilio would soon be a reality.


Thanks to you, Emilio becomes the second patient who is able to receive advanced care to secure a brighter future. Before him, Franci, a boy diagnosed with a heart defect, had complex surgery that has allowed him to grow into a thriving teenager.


Christ Church continues its long-term support for the clinic in rural Naranjito. The Mahoneys traveled on Oct. 7 to volunteer for the week-long clinic, presented the check the next day, and were able to meet Emilio on Oct. 10. They posed for a picture with him and two of the clinic's key staff members, Odalis and his wife Daritza. He is the clinic coordinator and she is in charge of patient appointments and follow-up care (see photo).


Somos Amigos conducted its fall clinic with eight volunteer physicians (one was Dominican) and four dentists (three were Dominican). Among other volunteers, Dominican participation is encouraged and has increased significantly, Dione said.


To learn more about Somos Amigos, which holds clinics four times each year, please read its annual report and speak to the Mahoneys or to parishioners Shahra Toth, Preethi Jackson and Ellen Boudreau Hoke, who are former volunteers.


Christ Church Sends Aid to Earthquake, Flood Survivors

On Sept. 8, a catastrophic earthquake struck Morocco, killing more than 2,000 people and displacing hundreds. Christ Church responded on behalf of parishioners. Outreach Commission members voted at the Sept. 11 meeting to contribute $500 to UNICEF, which says in an online post that it had resources in place for the most timely help.


On Sept. 10, Storm Daniel hit Libya with wind, rain, and flash flooding that caused the collapse of two dams. More than 4,000 people were killed, many having been swept into the sea. It was not immediately clear who could deliver humanitarian aid. Eventually, a description of efforts posted by Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) showed that ERD was partnering with DanChurchAid to assist survivors. At the Oct. 9 Outreach Commission, members approved sending $400 to ERD.


These are the latest in a series of disaster-relief donations, including ones earlier this year to help wildfire victims in Maui, HI; tornado victims in Mississippi and Arkansas, and earthquake victims in Syria and Türkiye. These are Vestry-approved funds derived from your pledges and contributions. Heartfelt thanks go out to all who make it possible.



Columbia Community Care Seeks Baby Care Items, More Volunteers

Please continue supporting Columbia Community Care (CCC) by donating items or volunteering. Choose tasks such as translating to enable home deliveries or sorting at the pantry. Check the CCC Facebook Group or 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 any of these in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall. Drop off items on weekdays when the office is open or on Sundays. The Christ Church point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bins and delivers the contents.



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

FISH of Howard County needs non-perishable foods and toiletries. FISH provides committed support to select families in need. Please put your donations in the basket at the altar or drop them into the marked black and yellow bin on the breezeway between Old Brick and Parish Hall. 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 outreach@christchurchcolumbia.org. Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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