Sunday, March 29, 2020

Behind the Door, Part ll

There’s life in the old gal yet. This gal:

Back about a million years ago, in late February, I wrote about the present state of the Columbia Flier building. (“Behind the Door” “On the Inside”) Not even a month later, the scene is a bit different.

The seasons change even as we stay inside. Spring has arrived and pink petals carpet the sidewalks leading to the doors. 

Something else has changed. The school supplies that Board of Education member Vicky Cutroneo has been gathering there for use in schools have taken on a new purpose. In a quick change of plan, Ms. Cutroneo is getting those materials out to the HCPSS Grab & Go meal sites to support the work of Columbia Community Care.

In addition, Ms. Cutroneo has reached out to friends and neighbors for additional materials to supplement her cache:

Local friends:  Whilst cleaning out and organizing your closets and basements... if you come across board games, educational games, unused coloring books, packs of crayons... 

I am interested.   Please drop off on my porch or I can pick up from your porch.

Here’s what comes next: the materials are quarantined in the Flier building to ensure no living virus is present, then sanitized before distribution to the sites where Columbia Community Care has set up supplemental assistance for families: Swansfield ES, Lake Elkhorn MS/Cradlerock ES, Howard HS, Oakland Mills MS, Wilde Lake MS.

“I dropped off blank journals and a teacher told me they were a huge hit. Kids want to write about stuff and many don’t have the materials to write,” said Cutroneo.

So, even though the Columbia Flier building is doing nothing, it’s helping in its own quirky way. It’s the quarantine site for art materials, school supplies, games, and craft items so that they will be safe to share with those who need them. Of course that takes creative thinking and dedicated effort from Ms. Cutroneo and the generosity and goodwill of community members committed to sharing from whatever abundance they have.

If you want to assist Ms. Cutroneo in her mission I’m guessing you can reach her through her BOE email ( ) to arrange a no-contact porch pickup. 

To support Columbia Community Care through a monetary donation, time and talent, or gifts in kind of food and household necessities, go to the Columbia Community Care Group on Facebook , or reach out to Erika Strauss Chavarria through her HCPSS email: .

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