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Christ Church Outreach News: September 29, 2022

Columbia Community Care Recruits Volunteers, Receives a County-wide Honor, and Partners with a Cafe to Help Provide Grassroots’ Meals

As Fall arrives, Columbia Community Care (CCC) is calling for more volunteers to help sort donated goods at its new pantry, to work remotely as translators, and otherwise help with the recent resumption of home deliveries.

In a Sept. 25 post on the CCC Group on Facebook, Executive Director founder Erika Strauss Chavarria updated supporters on persistent demand. “We had over 300 HoCo residents at our in-person distribution sites just this past Saturday, and over 50 families receiving deliveries this past week. Poverty and hunger are still rampant in HoCo. And the MAJORITY of our families are working 1 or more FULL-TIME jobs and still having trouble making ends meet.”

The update came during the same month that CCC was honored by Howard County with a “Rise to the Challenge Award.” CCC started as an all-volunteer organization that came together in 2020 at the outset of the pandemic. CCC and nearly 100 others were celebrated for their “dedication and resiliency” in response to the coronavirus. Read about “Service” honorees, including other Christ Church partners, in a Sept. 16 Howard County press release.

Strauss Chavarria gave an update on her recently-acquired role as executive director of CCC, which has attained 501(c)(3) status. She announced new fundraising options at a time of rising inflation that hurts low-income families.

Parishioners already have played a part in getting the pantry and home deliveries back up and running. Responding to CCC’s community-wide funding plea for that purpose, the Outreach Commission voted at its August meeting to give $500. These are Vestry-approved funds in the 2022 budget, so thanks to all!

Now that the pantry and the home delivery system have been reestablished, CCC needs more people to sign up and carry out tasks. Keep in mind that the “Shopper” fulfills the recipient’s wish list at the pantry rather than at a supermarket. Consider volunteering at CCC’s “I Can Help section online to perform one of the following duties: Sorters at CCC HQ (in person); Shopping & Delivery (must have a car), and Dispatch Translators. The translation task can be done remotely but the volunteer must be available for text messages by cell phone.

Please spread the word to those in need of free groceries and essentials but who lack transportation. Here is a link to sign up for home deliveries.

In another post, CCC announced on Sept. 19 that it is partnering with Cozy Cafe to help Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center every week. The family-owned, all-Halal restaurant and bakery is located at 8006 Main Street, Ellicott City, MD, 21043.

The owners of Cozy Cafe say they will prepare 50 meals for the residents at the Grassroots Live-In Facility on Freetown Road. In some ways, this effort is similar to the commitment by Christ Church to buy fried chicken and provide parishioners’ side dishes for an evening meal once a month. By contrast, Cozy and CCC are committing to furnish a weekly meal.

Here’s how it works, and how you can help: “Upon purchase of your delicious Cozy meal, consider purchasing a Grassroots meal ticket as well. Once purchased, pin the ticket on the bulletin board. On Wednesday of each week, purchased meal tickets will be counted and CCC will cover the remaining meals to bring the total to 50.”

Participants must purchase the ticket in person and are encouraged to do so on Mondays through Thursdays when the restaurant is less busy. The cost is $9.99.

In another way that Cozy is partnering with CCC, the restaurant pledges to donate 10 percent of all sales to CCC on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The dates next month are Oct. 4 and Oct. 18.

At Christ Church, Leigh Smith has become our representative who takes parishioners’ donated items to CCC. Distributions are held on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon at three sites: Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct.; Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd., and Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Road.

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.

SAVE THE DATES: January 8-14, 2023 DreamBuilders Trip to Puerto Rico!

Our mission trips to San Juan in 2019 and 2022 were so successful and rewarding that we are heading back for a third trip to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Maria. Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 155 mph, devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017. FEMA estimated that 53% of all structures on the island were significantly damaged. Now, 5 years later, thousands of families in Puerto Rican are still living in damaged homes or crowded in with family members waiting for the day when their home can be made livable again. We are delighted to work with the SBP Puerto Rico team, who share their professional skills with friendship and fun.

We have reserved great housing in apartments a few blocks from the beach and near restaurants and shops. The average temperature in Puerto Rico in January is between 80-83 degrees. We will be opening registration for this trip soon, but we are limited to only 20 people, so SAVE THE DATES!

FISH Asks Our Prayers Along with Snacks and Cookies

Our representative from FISH of Howard County recently had surgery. Paul Wisniewski is recovering; please pray for his good health. Pickups have resumed from our yellow bin between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Please continue donating cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill the shopping lists. 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 Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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