Did you know that over 3,000 children in Montgomery County enter the foster care system – EACH YEAR?
They often arrive at night with only the clothes on their backs or a few cherished possessions stuffed in a plastic trash bag. They are often, disoriented, frightened, tired, and hungry. They are not going to a familiar home for an overnight stay or slumber party like many of our children do. They are going for an extended period of time – maybe even for the rest of their childhoods – into the foster care system.
Truly, this is a tough transition.
The organization, COMFORT CASES – has stepped in to ease the transition and ensure that children start off in foster care with basic age-appropriate belongings they can call their own. Comfort Cases provides these children with a duffel bag filled with necessary items such as pajamas, blanket, stuffed animal, book/coloring book, toothbrush/toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, and other needed toiletries.
As a parish, we are going to make an all-out effort to collect items need-ed to help Comfort Cases fulfill their mission.
For the month of May, we will be collecting the items that go into a child’s Comfort Case. There will be copies of the list below available on the the Outreach table. Donated items can be left in the baskets in the vestibule.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Rob Scheer, the founder of Comfort Cases, will preach at our 10 AM service on Sunday, June 3d with a “packing party” to follow downstairs. We encourage all parishioners, including children and adults to help us fill the Comfort Cases duffel bags. We will need a lot of assistance at the packing party, so please raise your hand to help!
For any questions regarding COMFORT CASES, please contact Lauren Robinson by email . Check the bulletin and Outreach table for any updates.
Let’s all come together to make a difference in these children’s lives!
COMFORT CASES WISH LIST
Baby Blanket • Footie Pajamas –sizes 0 to 12 months
Small packet of baby wipes •Book (cloth or board book) • Stuff Animal
Pajama Sets – sizes 18 months to 4 • Fleece Blanket
Toothbrush/Toothpaste (travel size) • Picture Book • Stuffed Animal
Pajama Sets – sizes 5 to 10 • Fleece Blanket
Toothbrush/Toothpaste (travel size)
Coloring Book/Crayons or Picture Book • Stuff Animal
Sleepwear (gym shorts, t-shirts, flannel pants) – sizes 12 to 18
Fleece Blanket • Toiletries (toothbrush/toothpaste/deodorant)
OUTREACH HIGHLIGHTS 2017
- Arcola Elementary: We have partnered with the Linkages to Learning program at Arcola Elementary to provide school supplies, snacks, food bags for the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks and “angel gifts.”
- Bethesda Cares: In addition to the many cases of water, socks and toiletries that were donated to Bethesda Cares to share with their clients, the Bethesda Cares Sandwich Brigade continued to make sandwiches for the homeless the first and second Saturdays of each month.
- Heifer International: For over 20 years, the children of our parish and their families have fed Agnes their pennies in hopes that the monies collected will buy a cow, a goat or even a basket of chicks for Heifer International whose goal is to help families achieve self-reliance by providing them the tools they need to sustain themselves. Agnes reminds us that we have the power to give a hungry family the training it takes to feed themselves and their children; to give a young girl a chance at an education; to empower a woman to have a voice in her community. To change the world, one family, one community, at a time. And it all starts with a gift — a cow, a goat, basket of chicks and so much more.
- Rebuilding Together: The last Saturday in April our parish volunteers to be part of the annual Rebuilding Together Montgomery County work day when multigenerational teams of volunteers will meet at the selected ‘project house’ for a day of down and dirty raking, digging, painting, scrubbing, etc. to fix up the home of someone in need. This year, working in partnership with other community resources, we will be working on a group home for young adults.
- Episcopal Relief and Development: Once a year, our parish’s Outreach effort focuses on supporting Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), the worldwide relief agency of the Episcopal Church (see below). Our parish generously donated $1,786 for ERD in 2017.
- Arcola Elementary Summer Camp: We donated supplies for the summer camp program at Arcola that provides children two meals a day and fun, fun, fun! From painting to water balloons, the children enjoyed their special time in camp thanks to Christ Church and other non-profits.
- Arcola Elementary Back-to-School Backpacks: Our generous parish sponsored 60 backpacks, filled with school supplies, for those children identified at Arcola Elementary who do not have the means to purchase supplies on their own.
- Nyumbani: We hosted a NIGHT OF CULTURE – KENYA STYLE to benefit the Nyumbani, Programs for Children and Caregivers affected by HIV/AIDS in Kenya.
Episcopal Relief and Development
Working in partnership with the worldwide Church, ecumenical agencies and local organizations, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) saves lives and strengthens communities around the world. Their programs work toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which hope to reduce extreme poverty significantly in the coming years. Specific program areas include: Alleviating Hunger and Improving Food Supply; Creating Economic Opportunities and Strengthening Communities; Promoting Health and Fighting Disease; Responding to Disasters and Rebuilding Communities Worldwide and Domestically. Additionally, ERD is working in this country with parishes and dioceses in Disaster Preparedness. A great strength of ERD is it can respond quickly to disasters because partners are already there in the vicinity of the disaster worldwide. And ERD stays after the news media are gone to keep the long-term recover going. Members of Christ Church Parish Kensington support ERD through outreach donations, specific collections in response to disasters, and through the Gifts for Life program. For more up-to-date information, the website is www.episcopalrelief.org