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Christ Church Outreach News: September 14, 2023


Please Help A Young Man to Hear by Donating to a Fundraiser for Emilio, a Somos Amigos’ Patient Since Boyhood

Since the founding of Somos Amigos Medical Missions more than 25 years ago, it has conducted more than 21,000 medical and dental visits at its clinic in the Dominican Republic, most recently in July (see photos). Sometimes its patients need advanced care or their condition involves medical expenses beyond what Somos Amigos can provide.


That’s the case with Emilio, 23, who has been a patient since 2009, when he was an 8-year-old boy (see photos). Emilio has congenital hearing loss that greatly limits his prospects for a fulfilling life. Somos Amigos has sent him to specialists to see what could be done, said Somos Amigos Executive Director Frank Brightwell, who observed that “services, equipment and personnel in the Dominican Republic, at least in the cities, have progressed a lot since 2009, and so now we feel we can really make a difference with him.”


“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, and perhaps even more importantly, with corrected hearing, he might be able to find work to eventually support himself and a family,” he said.


Because of the nature of Emilio’s disability and his age, he is not a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant. Instead, specialists recommended hearing aids for both ears that with accessories and fittings would cost approximately $3,500. Of that amount, the Outreach Commission is seeking to raise $750 in parishioners’ donations.

After learning of Emilio’s plight in mid-summer, the Outreach Commission voted to contribute $1,000 that it had previously set aside as annual support for Somos Amigos. Those are vestry-approved budget funds in keeping with the Outreach mission of supporting worthy nonprofit organizations that are local, national and international. In addition, Somos Amigos supporters at Christ Church donated $1,750, leaving a balance of $750.


Please help. You can put cash in an envelope marked “Somos Amigos” into the collection plate. Write a check to Christ Church with “Somos Amigos" on the memo line; put it in the plate or mail it to the office. Or go online to Realm, click “Outreach” in the drop-down menu, and put “Somos Amigos” in the comment line.


Some responded last Sunday when Outreach Commission member and Somos Amigos volunteer Dione Mahoney launched the effort. Thank You! She’ll make an announcement at both services on Sunday, Sept. 17, for those who might have missed her personal remarks.

Both Dione and Jim Mahoney travel to the Dominican Republic to volunteer at one of the clinics that Somos Amigos holds four times a year in the rural village of Naranjito. The Mahoneys plan to depart Saturday, Oct. 7 for the Fall clinic. With your help, they will be able to bring with them a check from Christ Church to pay for Emilio’s hearing aids and audiology care.


Last October, the Mahoneys were able to witness the success of a similar case in which Christ Church played a part. Franci, a boy who needed heart surgery, has fully recovered and is thriving in middle school. In 2017, parishioners raised funds to help Franci after he had been diagnosed at age 6 by Somos Amigos doctors with a congenital heart defect. He had to go to Santo Domingo for treatment, a case that Brightwell recalled with gratitude when he last visited Christ Church and delivered the sermon on Oct. 30, 2022.


To learn more about Somos Amigos, read its annual report and speak to the Mahoneys or to parishioners Shahra Toth, Preethi Jackson and Ellen Hoke, all former volunteers.



Enter a Golf Tournament on Friday, Sept. 22, to Help Bridges to Housing Stability

Advocating for affordable housing and helping individuals and families who struggle to keep a roof over their heads is the mission of Bridges to Housing Stability. It’s a daunting task, but the nonprofit organization offers golfers a way to support the cause on Friday, Sept. 22.


Bridges will hold the second annual Sheehy Toyota Bridges for Birdies Golf Tournament at The Timbers of Troy, 6100 Marshalee Dr., Elkridge, MD. The tournament begins with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. and features a full day of golf, food, and awards. The cost for a single golfer is $200, or $800 for a foursome, which covers greens fees, unlimited range balls, food, and beverages.

The event raises crucial operating funds, says Bridges Executive Director Jen Broderick. Christ Church has been a supporter of Bridges since participating in a countywide chili cook-off in 2019. At a Chili & Challenge virtual fundraiser in 2020, Christ Church won a Silver Ladle Award. Then, at the 2021 Chili & Challenge, we won gold.


Columbia Community Care Seeks Baby Care Items, More Volunteers

Please continue supporting Columbia Community Care (CCC) by giving essentials and with your time and talent. People can choose tasks such as translating to enable home deliveries or stocking the shelves at the pantry building, 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Check the CCC Facebook Group for updates 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 church office is open or on Sunday. The Christ Church point of contact is Leigh Smith, who monitors the bins and delivers their contents.



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

Organizers for FISH of Howard County continue to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill their shopping lists. Please put items in a basket that has been returned to the altar. Or drop them in the yellow bin on the breezeway 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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