GENERAL BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS ACTC's General Board meeting Tuesday night, March 28, postponed for two weeks because of inclement weather, was well worth the wait. For starters, church reps, pastors and volunteers enjoyed a bountiful buffet supper. They also learned a lot from three speakers, who described the Inmate Release Assistance Program, available at ACTC for clients courtesy of Maryland Presbyterian Church's generosity. Stephanie Martin, our new volunteer was welcomed, and plans for the Spring Matching Gift Challenge were announced.
CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS Christmas 2016 at ACTC exemplified the true spirit of the holiday by making it brighter for 72 adopted families with gifts, clothing, food and gift cards donated by individuals, churches and organizations. Thanks to GBMC, Immaculate Conception's "Giving Tree," Trinity Episcopal, the Towson Elks plus 11 individuals and organizations for making it possible.
GRATEFUL ASSISTANCE CENTER ACTC is feeling thankful for all the volunteers, churches, schools, clubs and businesses that contributed to the successful outcome of its "Thanksgiving Basket" project. A total of 1,977 baskets were donated, making the day a brighter one for hundreds of people struggling to make ends meet.
GOBBLE, GOBBLE: 'THANKSGIVING BASKET' PROJECT IN FULL SWING A truck stuffed with 350 orange Thanksgiving bags from Hunt Valley Church rolled in on Friday, November 18, its contents hastily unloaded and wheeled into Memorial Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church where volunteers readied them for distribution. There was a steady stream of vehicles on the preceding day and the rest of Friday, filled with bags donated by churches, clubs and organizations, destined to make Thanksgiving day a brighter one for hundreds of families. After registering at ACTC on Monday, November 21 or the next day, clients will be able to visit Memorial Hall and pick up a bag packed with all the trimmings needed to enjoy a traditional dinner, along with a gift card to purchase a turkey.
NEWCOMERS STUFF THANKSGIVING BAGS FOR ACTC PROJECT Members of the Newcomers Club of Northern Baltimore County gathered at Wegmans Hunt Valley November 15 to fill bags with ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The club donated them to ACTC for its annual "Thanksgiving Basket" project. Forming an assembly line, nine helpers wheeled their carts to 10 different stations stocked with the nonperishable items the club purchased from Wegmans to fill 115 bags. Shown here making the rounds are Vicki Chambers, left, and Peggy Gray. Club president and ACTC volunteer Susan Williams started the club's project four years ago in her garage. She says, "It's a good project that combines friendship and service opportunities." ACTC is grateful for the club's generosity.
B-I-N-G-O! - EVERYONE A WINNER Twenty people won creative baskets packed with a variety of donated items for having the right numbers in their bingo card, but everyone who attended Saturday night's "Bags, Baskets & BitesBingo!" ACTC fundraiser October 22 became a winner. Replete with fun and generosity, the highly successful event, full of prizes, games and food, raised $7,000, enabling ACTC to carry on with its mission of helping people in our communities who are struggling with hunger and poverty issues.
ACTC thanks the First Lutheran Church of Towson (FLCT) for hosting and helping with the event, everyone who bought tickets, churches, volunteers, students from Ridgely Middle School who came to help, and all 20 local businesses, 16 sponsors and 21 patrons for their generous donations and support.
Hats off to the committee members who made it happen: ACTC's Linda Lotz and Pat Robinson, and FLCT's Amy Woest and Pastor Garet Ellis. And to the caller Kevin Woest shown here. See more photos.
HATS OFF: SEVENTH ANNUAL 'HIGH TEA' TIME VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORTERS A big thank you to Immaculate Conception Church, its annual event coordinator/originator BarbaraWatts and her efficient, cheerful team of young volunteers for providing another successful morning and afternoon of "High Tea" on Saturday, November 5.Every table was taken by ticket holders at two sittings for the ACTC fundraiser, where they enjoyed a variety of teas served with homemade scones, petite sandwiches and sweets. Shown with "hats on" and ready to make their choice of tea are Linda Martin, left, Margaret Sandbezk, Elizabeth Hoffman and Sheila Grap.
At a nearby table seated with her granddaughter Maggie Miller, ACTC volunteer Lydia Brown pours her selection. All proceeds benefit ACTC, enabling the center to continue its important mission of providing emergency food and other assistance to the needy in our communities.
PIN IT: WINE TASTING AT CAFE TROIA Mark your calendar the second Wednesday of every month, 6-7 p.m., as the date and time to join the Wine Enthusiasts Club, an ACTC fundraiser at Cafe Troia, 3l Allegheny Ave. in Towson. There you can sample four different wines with hors d'oeuvres and enjoy mingling while supporting ACTC for only $10 (Troias donates all proceeds to ACTC). Free valet parking is available, and free meter parking in front of the building is available starting at 6 p.m. Please RSVP by calling Troias at 410-337-0133.
THANKSGIVING BASKET PROJECT UNDERWAY FOR 2016 Now's the season that ACTC gears up to make plans for the collection and then the distribution of "Thanksgiving Baskets" to low income families, mostly within its service area, but also to other agencies that help those in need. Churches have already received their list of food items that should be included along with helpful hints about packing and alternative options for purchasing bags prepacked by local food markets listed below.
The tradition began in 1988, when each of the 30 member churches were asked to donate two baskets for helping 60 families. The good response enabled ACTC to make Thanksgiving brighter for 126 families. The project has grown every year since then. Last year, through the combined efforts of churches, clubs, schools, organizations and individuals, the project benefited 2,200 families in Baltimore County and the city. ACTC clients received bags with a $10 grocery store gift card inside for the purchase of a turkey or ham.
Donated bags of food are to be delivered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday on the 16th through the 18th of November to Memorial Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 W. Allegheny Ave., where volunteers will assist with unloading. After registering at ACTC, clients can pick up their bags from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Memorial Hall on Monday, November 21 or Tuesday, November 22.
Volunteers to help sort, or receive and distribute the bags are needed to help with this large and rewarding project. To help, call 410-296-4855, email email@example.com, or sign up at the center. As Leesa Sipe once said, having served as the event's co-chair for 23 years from its inception until two years ago: "Our project makes Thanksgiving a blessed time for the giver as well as for the receiver." Pat Shaw, shown above, center, with two ACTC volunteers, is the current chairman.
GUIDELINES FOR PACKING Only put items listed below in your bags
Put heavy cans on the bottom
Mark filled bags "complete"
Mark partially filled bags "incomplete" and list missing items
Use reusable grocery bags or a double brown grocery bag inserted in a double plastic bag Do not put money or gift cards in the bags - submit contributions to a worker or mail to ACTC
Put items not on the list in a separate bag marked "miscellaneous"
ITEMS FOR THANKSGIVING BAGS
1 can sweet potatoes/yams (23-29 oz.)
2 cans meat/main dish (e.g., beef stew or chili 15-24 oz.)
1 large can fruit (20-30 oz.)
4 cans vegetables (e.g., green beans, peas or corn 15 oz.)
1 cranberry sauce
2 pkg. macaroni and cheese
1 box instant mashed potatoes
1 cake or brownie mix
1 lb. bag or box of rice
CONVENIENT OPTION Purchase prepacked Thanksgiving reusable bags at a reasonable price from one of the supermarkets listed below. Pick up at the Customer Service counter starting November 1 (call to confirm). Please call in advance to order multiple bags. Bring bags to your church for delivery on the dates and times specified above, or take them directly to Trinity on those days and times.
Giant Supermarket (across from Timonium fairgrounds) - $23*
2145 York Road, Timonium, 21093
Kimberly Carr, Manager
Giant Supermarket (across from Drumcastle Center) - $23*
6340 York Road, Baltimore, 21212
Judy Simon, Manager
*Subject to change as low as $17 when items are on sale.
CAR WASH RAISES $1,300 FOR ACTC
The Mitchell family car wash benefit for ACTC in Towon on Saturday, August 29 was a resounding success. Originated by their Hampton elementary schoolers Carly, age 9, and Ella, age 10, they were assisted by 15 kids ages 4-12 and 13 adults, well armed with lots of sponges, suds, water and drying rags, and blessed by good weather. At the end of four hours, 50 cars were much cleaner and $1,300 had been raised to purchase food for ACTC. In the words of Ridgely Middle School seventh grader Leanna Hubbard: "These people will feel like Batman fighting the crime of hunger with a new, shiny car to go with it." Thanks to the grandchildren of ACTC board member Larry Fresh, Carly and Ella, for their great idea.
MEALS FOR THE HOMELESS At "Harvest Meals 4 the Homeless," a new service that started January 21, 2015, homeless and others are invited to share a free supper every Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Mount Calvary Episcopal Church Family Life Center, 349 Eudowood Lane in Towson. For information, call 410-296-9474.
Chicken Divan was the main course for the March 11 community dinner. Volunteers from ACTC and Towson University prepared, served and welcomed 25 guests who enjoyed attending the buffet dinner together. A shuttle bus makes stops to pick up diners from Virginia Towers and the Towson Library.
Towson Presbyterian Church offers
good food and an escape from bad weather on weekends for the
homeless with its complete meal and dessert served Sundays from noon to
1:15 p.m. at the church, 400 West Chesapeake Ave., in the heart of
Towson. To attend, please use the Central Avenue entrance.