Sunday, November 12, 2023

A Toy, A Book, A Connection

What does community care look like? In Columbia/HoCo, it looks like food donations and delivery, plus weekly food distribution sites. It looks like educational events to help parents be better advocates for their children, self-care workshops, and programs for youth.  It looks like fundraisers to support ongoing programs, and hopes, dreams, and plans for a visionary community center.

And it looks like the joy of children. 


Columbia Community Care will once again be holding our Holiday Toy Drive!

Saturday December 16, 2023

11:00 am - 1:00 pm (or until we are out of toys!)

Oakland Mills High School (Auxiliary Gym)

NEW Toys and Gifts for Kids ages 2-12 years old


We're doing things a little differently this year. We'll be sorting donations by age group and bagging them up ahead of time for distribution. So please consider donating Gender-Neutral toys, games, and gifts.

2-5years. 5-8 years, 8 years and older. 


DONATION DROP OFFS: Donations can be dropped off at the CCC Building, 10750 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Drop off times: Wed 10-2, Fri 10-2, Sat 10-12. Please do not leave them in the outdoor bin. We're accepting donations through Wed Dec 13th. (After that, please bring donations by 11:00 am directly to the toy drive on Sat Dec 16th). 


We're also accepting childrens books for all ages! Books will be distributed separately, in addition to the bagged toys and gifts.

(books not bagged up)


Toys, Books, Winter Hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, art supplies, play dough, slime, sidewalk chaulk, sports equipment, playground balls, jump ropes, blocks, magnetic tiles, stuffed animals, kids snacks (individually wrapped), goldfish, fruit snacks, juice boxes, candy, etc.


Consider having your own small toy drive to add to the CCC toy drive! This could be done at your work place, place of worship, neighborhood, scouts, your child's day care center/preschool, or with your familiy and friends!

Please message us and we can give you additional suggestions.


We will need many volunteers - both ahead of the toy drive as well as on the distribution day. Please stay tuned for volunteer details.


Katie Kirk, Alicia Brandys, Valerie Burrows Eshleman, Sue Sharff Castonguay

Please contact any of us for porch drop offs if needed.


We appreciate ANY and ALL donations! Every single donation matters and we sincerely Thank You for donating!


I wrote about the concepts of mutual aid and community care last year in “The Restaurant Week That Gives Back.” (October, 2022)  

Community care differs from most charitable giving in that it’s based on the understanding that we are all a part of the process of caring for our community. It’s not: one person gives, the other receives. It’s about human interaction.

During the earlier days of the pandemic, when I was sidelined by (unrelated) health issues, there were numerous times when people went out of their way to do kind things for me. I can’t even remember them all. I do remember the joy I felt when I opened the door to discover special treats and little things that made me smile. For someone who was both ill and housebound, those moments were just as exciting to me as a child on Christmas morning.

I didn’t feel like anyone’s charity case. I felt seen, and valued. That’s community care.

Columbia Community Care began through the spark and hard work of Erika Strauss Chavarria in March of 2020. Many of my readers are involved in the work of CCC already. If you aren’t, perhaps helping out with the Toy Drive and/or spreading the word by sharing the flyer I posted above might be a good way to start. 

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