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Columbia Community Cares

Local teacher rallies fellow Columbia residents to lend a helping hand

Erika Strauss-Chavarria is a Spanish Teacher at Wilde Lake High School. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, moved to Columbia during her formative years. Chavarria touts a social-justice background in addition to her teaching career; a skillset that helped her to identify the growing concern with resource shortages in the face of a pandemic. ”I posted on Facebook asking if any of my fellow friends/colleagues would be willing to deliver groceries to families of our students. I woke up the next day and on a whim, decided to create a Facebook group with the folks who had responded. Before I knew it, we (had) over 2000 members in the group, dozens of volunteers, and hundreds of donations flowing in.” This is how Columbia Community Care started. “We have two different main services at five different schools in the county:(Swansfield Elementary School, Wilde Lake Middle School, Oakland Mills Middle School, Lake Elkhorn Middle School, and Howard High School. We provide donations to our community members including food, household items, baby items, educational activities, and grocery deliveries to families who do not have transportation. We are open for donations and distributions from 11:30 am -1:30 pm, Monday-Saturday (we recently decided to close on Sundays). Overall, safety is our top priority and we are doing our best to abide by all state and county guidelines and restrictions. We do not require any form of identification or proof of need; Anyone is welcome. A great way to get involved is on our Facebook group!” If you have any questions for Erika, please don't hesitate to message her on the Facebook page Columbia Community Cares.

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