Community Ties hosting picnic to connect neighborhood in Mount Airy

Jon Kelvey
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times

“It’s innate in people to take care of one another, it really is,” said Kathy Barna, president of Community Ties Inc., a 2-year-old, service-oriented nonprofit in Mount Airy.

“It comes out of that Christian responsibility to do kingdom work and take care of one another.”

Also innate in people: coming together to enjoy each others’ company and have a good time, at least that’s the idea behind the second annual Community Ties Picnic, to be held noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in Mount Airy’s Watkins Park. There will be burgers and hot dogs and other picnic foods, according to Barna, as well as face painting, live music and inflatable bounce houses for children.

It’s an opportunity for fun and for people to learn more about Community Ties.

“This is a world where we lift up our garage, we go to work, we come home,” Barna said. “We don’t have a lot of those connections that we used to like when I was growing up.”

And Community Ties is all about connections, she said, whether it’s connecting a person having a hard time to resources that can help, or connecting volunteers who want to help to the people that need it.

“Community Ties — we call it CTI — came out of an awareness that when people are in a crisis, they often don’t even know what questions to ask or where to turn,” Barna said. “And Mount Airy is unique in that we are far away from the county hubs. What is offered doesn’t quite come out this far, and we find many people in Mount Airy can’t get to Frederick or Westminster to get the resources.”

The organization doesn’t have any threshold for what constitutes a “crisis,” Barna said; she and her volunteers will help with anything.

“We don’t get to define what somebody’s crisis is. It might mean everything from ‘I’m homeless’ to, ‘oh my gosh, my spouse is in the hospital and I have a dog at home and I don’t have anybody to take care of my dog,’ ” she said. “There is no crisis too big or too small.”

Community Ties has quickly come to play a pivotal role in coordinating that sort of support for people in the Mount Airy community, according to Wayne Evans, of the Mount Airy Lions Club.

“When she began this CTI, many of us in the service clubs like the Lions Club and the Kiwanis and the Rotary thought this was a great idea,” Evans said. “Frequently the service clubs are doing projects and nobody knows about it.”

Sometimes it’s just a matter of Barna matching people to the long-existent resources of the service clubs.

“A good example. There were some people in town that were in need of hospital equipment. Well, it just so happens that Mount Airy Lions Club has a shed full of hospital equipment,” Evans said. “She knew that we had the wheelchair and the hospital bed and she was kind of the conduit between us and the people who needed the services.”

Evans will also be at the picnic Saturday, helping to cook food.

Those who attend are also asked to donate small personal items to the nonprofit’s service project, creating care bags for adults admitted to the Frederick Memorial Hospital emergency department. Barna is asking people to bring things like lip balm, socks and puzzle books, the sorts of comforts people may not be able to grab in a medical emergency.

“It’s our hope to put together 100 bags,” she said.

It will be service, but done in an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie.

“Bottom line is there’s not a lot for free anymore, it’s just nice to do that,” Barna said. “To have an opportunity for people to come and fellowship together.”


If you go

What: Community Ties Picnic

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15

Where: Watkins Park, 7255 Ridge Road, Mount Airy

Cost: Free


jon.kelvey@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-3317

twitter.com/CCT_Health

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
70°