By Lambi

“I Wouldn’t Miss the Rummage Sale!”

Enjoying each other’s company after a long, hard day’s work!

The Summit Christ Child Chapter held its seventh annual “Collectables and Delectables” sale on October 3rd.  Not only did we have our local members volunteering, but a beloved, retired teacher from Oak Knoll, Lucy Remus made a special trip up from Virginia to help out. As she noted, “I wouldn’t miss this great event.  I put it in my calendar as soon as I heard the date.”  In addition, lots of middle and high school kids volunteered their service hours to help set up and clean up and bring items to shopper’s cars. The original idea of a rummage sale came from Board member Margaret Strong who thought it would be a “feel good” event for our Summit chapter and the community. Seven years later we have continuously been able to provide nice items at a reasonable price, and have the support of St. Teresa’s to hold the event in Memorial Hall, all while raising funds for our programs to help children in need. It is an event where everyone wins!  Funny story this year-we found a beautiful set of china from one of our member’s mother that had been hidden from the previous year. We put it out at the sale and our member said, “If it doesn’t sell, I will take it back. I can’t just donate my mom’s china.”  Five minutes later a women wanted the china for the price we were asking. There was a huge smile on our member’s face.  Items not sold were donated to Sage Resale store in Summit and Purple Heart which through our donations helps the lives of American Veterans and their families.

Category: Events

Baby Photo Day is a Challenge!


Pictured is a young”subject” taking a personal”time out” during Photo Day at Brighter Tomorrows Children’s Academy at Central High School in Newark.  Photos of the babies and toddlers, and in some cases their families, were taken by Kathryn Colao and her enthusiastic volunteer assistant, Caroline Westdyk.  Caroline had her work cut out for her as she”wrangled” the toddlers into sitting still just long enough to snap a pic.  It was an exhausting morning!  Individual and class photos will be presented to the teen parents as a gift from the Christ Child Society of Summit.

Category: Events
By Lambi

Empowering Our Leaders: Telling Our Story

Lambi and Christina in front of Mary Virginia Merrick’s childhood home


Board members Margaret Strong, Christina Amundson and Lambi Newsham attended the National Christ Child conference in Bethesda this past September.  The seminars and workshops centered around the theme of “Empowering our Leaders: Telling Our Story.” One of the highlights was a mass at Blessed Sacrament, Mary Virginia Merrick’s church as well as a stop at her home in D.C.  Monsignor John Enzler, head of Catholic Charities in DC,  presided over the mass and had a lot to speak about after being with Pope Francis just days before .  It was a treat to see framed photos of Mary located throughout the first floor that were strategically placed in the location where the picture was originally taken.  And as a coincidence, member Tracy Stabler’s parents still live right next to Mary Virginia Merrick’s house and Tracy was married at Blessed Sacrament church. Six degrees of separation!


Christmas Wishes

Thank you to all of our members who so generously gave of their time, treasure, and talents this December in helping with the Advent Giving Tree at St. Teresa’s and the Christmas party and gifts for the teens and babies at Central High School in Newark. As you may know, the Advent Giving Tree provides the babies at Central with gifts for Christmas. The director of the Center at Central High School wrote:

“I would like to thank the members of Christ Child Society of Summit for the generous donation of Gifts, Goodies and the luncheon you all provided for the Teen parents, the children and the staff at Central High.  Without the support of CCSS I cannot provide these social events to the families we serve.
Please pass on this message to all and Merry Christmas to you all.
On behalf of the Teen parents and Staff at The Infant and Toddler Early Learning Center at Central High School, Thank you very much for all your support throughout the year.”

May God bless you and keep you safe during your travels this Christmas and give you peace in the new year.

With warm regards,

Margaret and Theresa (Advent Giving Tree), and   
Kathryn, Lori, Maura, Christina, Terry, and Lambi 

treasures and treats!


Our 2013 Rummage Sale was held on Saturday, October 19th in Memorial Hall from 8 am to 2 pm.  Thank you to the scores of people who donated their treasures, to those who gave these treasures a new life by purchasing them, and to the many volunteers who made it all run smoothly.  “Customers” were lined up outside our doors for our 8 am opening, and the crowds kept coming until we closed the doors at 2:00 pm!  Read more...


2013 School Supplies Drive Wraps Up


Just in time for school, 323 children eligible for free and reduced lunches received new backpacks and school supplies.  For the fifth year, the Christ Child Society of Summit and Bridges Outreach collaborated to collect hundreds of binders, spiral and composition notebooks, pens, pencils and much more.  In addition, $2,500 worth of additional supplies were purchased from funds raised by both groups.  It is estimated that each child received supplies valuing $65.  Parents were able to take the financial resources that would have been used for school supplies to pay for food, rent, and other necessities.Read more...


First Ever Christ Child Scholarship Awarded

Jackie Scholarship.jpg

The Christ Child Society of Summit awarded its first annual scholarship on June 12, 2013, to Jackie Balandiuk, a Summit High School senior who will attend Boston University this fall to study psychology. The Scholarship is awarded to a High School senior who lives or attends school in Summit, is in good standing academically, who has volunteered or worked with children, and is continuing their education after high school. Read more...

Category: News


The Gift of.....Bibs!


The day before Valentine’s Day, an “angel” called me out of the blue and said “Someone gave me 5 large boxes of bibs...does Christ Child know anyone who can use them?”  Did we ever!!  Since the start of the school year, the staff at the Infant and Toddler Early Learning Center at Central High School in Newark has been asking if we could get them bibs, LOTS of them, since the babies go through them so quickly, and they tend to get pretty yucky, pretty fast.  Here was a gift of bibs, LOTS of them, from out of nowhere.  Well, not exactly nowhere. The “angel” saw our name in the bulletin and knew of our organization because her mother was a member of the original Summit chapter of the Christ Child Society.  Her mother joined Christ Child when she moved to Summit from Brooklyn when she was in her EIGHTIES.  She lived to be 103 years old.  It just goes to show, it’s never too late to make a difference!

By Lambi

Supporting our Celtic Sisters

Lambi at Celtic Sisters Blood Drive.JPG

Lambi Newsham at the blood drive held by the Celtic Sisters at the Shillelagh Club in West Orange, NJ in November. The Celtic Sisters have a baby shower each spring to collect layette items for Christ Child Society of Summit.  Two Christ Child members are also members of the Celtic Sisters - Paddie Donohue and Jackie Browne.

Category: News

Be Our Valentine?


Christ Child volunteers Jill Stanley, Cheryl Mullery, Christie McGinn, and Sue Hubbard had a very happy Valentine’s day, sharing it with the babies at Central High.  This cutie is all decked out in red hearts and bows!  We also brought some small gifts for the teen parents.  Candy, cards, flowers, and some treats hopefully helped these teens know that the members of the Christ Child Society of Summit appreciate how hard their job is, and how important it is to be recognized for it now and then.  What better day than Valentine’s Day?

Category: News
By Lambi

Fond Memories of the Christ Child

Lambi and milesmcmahon3-12.JPG

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to bump into a lovely gentleman at a Hometowne TV open house.  He stopped me and mentioned that he was watching all the progress we have made with the Summit Chapter.  Little did I know that Miles McMahon was the husband of Virgnia who passed away last summer.  She was instrumental in the chapter  and a long standing member. Miles told me she was so sad to return the Summit charter back to National.  Back in the 80’s Miles told me, she couldn’t get any volunteers to make layettes.  Luckily we haven’t had that problem.  He also told me he was strong-armed by Virginia to not only help assemble the layettes but drive them to St. Joseph’s Social Center in Elizabeth.  He had only good memories of the Chapter and has been watching our progress.  Our story continues.  Thank you Miles McMahon for your kind words.

Category: News

Tis the Season...


The Christ Child Society of Summit got to play Santa today, as we made a holiday drop at the Central High School Early Learning Center that would make the big man himself proud!  Thank you to all of our members who contributed in large and small ways.  A list of what we delivered:


Advent Giving Tree gifts - these were gorgeous!  We unpacked them and they were all beautifully put together, tags and bows in place, and looked lovely.  Theresa Sweeney and Margaret Whelan did a fantastic job on these and all the other thousands (?) of presents they coordinated.


Hand tied fleece blankets from Oak Knoll and Girl Scouts - we gave them 29 (20 from Oak Knoll).  They had 28 babies as of last week but may have another coming tomorrow....! Maria (the director) is like the Pied Piper of teen mothers.....


Gifts for teen parents (30!) - Terry Andrews did such a great job gathering gifts, buying gift cards and wrapping everything beautifully. What a huge help, and a nice gift for these parents.


Cookies - we brought at least 6 dozen that were dropped off  by members.   These are for their holiday party on Wednesday.  We also brought a bag of children’s CD’s (donated by Sally Golding) which were used immediately, as well as some holiday decorations.


Staff Appreciation lunch - Thanks to Lori White for ordering food and getting this together.  Sandwiches, salad, chips and drinks, as well as a plate of desserts for the staff to enjoy today.  The staff really appreciates this.  We are like their honorary PTA moms!


 Our hope is that these small gestures will help make this Christmas special for the young families and the staff at Central High School.  Enjoy the wonders of the season.

Category: News
By Lambi

A Bright Light to Start Our Day


Some of the Christ Child members were fortunate enough to celebrate mass last Tuesday with Father Brian Plate at the beautiful home of our member Lisa O’Hearn.  Despite the dreary day, it was a welcome respite during the busy days of the Christmas season.  The idea for the home mass came about in a conversation with our Spirituality co-chairs Tracy Stabler and Lori White.  We reminisced about home masses from our youth and I mentioned that my Uncle was a priest and we celebrated many masses in my family room with my best friend and I singing and playing the guitar.  I bet you didn’t know I played a mean “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” on the guitar!   Back to the mass -we had a “sold out” crowd of 19 in Lisa’s living room.  It was lovely, spiritual and brought us all together for the purpose of celebrating out faith with one another.  May the bright light continue in the months to come.

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