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Last Day of Tutoring at OLHC :(
We were sad to leave our young friends at Our Lady Help of Christians on our last day of tutoring. Christ Child Society tutors enjoyed getting to know these young students each week, and helping them with their math and reading. To celebrate on our last day, we brought in a cake to share with the students at the end of our session. We gave each child an educational gift so they can hone their skills over the summer and come back ready to learn in the fall. We cant wait to come back!
Dear Members of the Christ Child Society (a letter from Lucy Remus)
Well, it was a glorious luncheon on Thursday. I always look forward to attending them. Joanne Ainsworth would cover classes at Oak Knoll for me. They inspired me.
Everything was impeccably done. The tables, the food, the mass, and the company. I have always felt welcome. I have been attracted to the Society for the hard work that is done cheerfully for the well being of children.
When Angela Schroeder asked me to knit hats, Norah Marie Bischoff taught me how to use circular needles. ...After my sister passed away I decided to dedicate all of my hats (and other knitting) to her honor. She would laugh if she knew that I can knit! I was not proficient, in her opinion!
I have a quote from Mary Virginia Merrick in my foyer. My good friends at Oak Knoll had it made when I left. I read it every morning. It is my lifes inspiration. You can imagine how stunned I was to receive any award, and especially one that bears her name. I thank you with the most humble heart.
I will definitely attend the Rummage Sale. I am hoping to get up (to NJ) for the School Suppplies days as well.
Thank you for seeing the vision and living the mission of Mary Virginia Merrick. I am proud to help.
Our Volunteer Extraordinaire!
|Mary Virginia Merrick Award recipient Lucy Remus (center), with Kathryn Colao and Lori White, CCS Summit Co-Presidents|
Our 2016 Mary Virginia Merrick award recipient is Lucy Remus, beloved CCS member and former Oak Knoll French teacher who rallied the OKS community to knit for Christ Child Society layettes, who herself knitted countless hats, sweaters and blankets, and who has volunteered at our Rummage Sale whenever possible, even after moving to Virginia 3 years ago. Every year “Madame Remus” taught the 4th grade girls how to knit, even before her work with the Christ Child Society. In 2008, when we started our Knitting Angels, Lucy joined the committee and ambitiously knitted 60 hats in one summer! Weve lost track over the years the number of items Lucy has knitted in total, but one report showed she made over 100 hats in a 4 month period! She also got her dedicated group of “junior knitters” involved in helping make our fleece blankets, cutting and tying until each one was complete and ready to be added to our layettes. She continues to mail us box after box of gorgeous knitted items from Virginia, so that we can include them in our layettes. Lucys passion to help others, especially children, is inspiring to us all.
Cookies for a Cause!
When covered with flour and churning out over 100 “onesie” sugar cookies, CCS member Rikki Owens could hardly imagine how adorable the cookies woud look decorating the tables at the Christ Child Society of Summits 10th Anniversary Baby Shower held on April 7th. But when Rikki handed off her baked creations to Angeli Breen who proceeded to decorate and teach Rikki how to decorate the cookies, it all came together! Cookies in pink, blue and yellow beautifully wrapped in cellophane, adorned the tables and were enjoyed by all the shower attendees, thanks to our talented cookie creators!
“The Luminary Effect”
|Lori, Linda Massengill, and Kathryn|
On February 1st, Lori and I were honored to receive a check from Summits Luminary Fund in support of the Christ Child Societys Layette Program. Each year the Luminary Fund supports an amazing group of non-profit organizations that in turn support Summit citizens, from infants to seniors. The Luminary Fund is able to provide these funds due to the generosity of Summit citizens who purchase thousands of luminaries each December to illuminate our town on December 24th. As Miles MacMahon, another Luminary Fund recipient, so aptly put it, “the luminary effect”, or “glow,” starts with the people who buy and display these beautiful lights throughout the town. It is spread through the good works of the people who run the program led by Barbara Romano. Lastly, it is felt by every Summit citizen who benefits from the services provided by fund recipients including the Summit First Aid Squad, SAGE, Senior Connections, Area Baby Center, and more. Thank you to the Luminary Fund and to all these organizations for making Summit “glow.”
Making a Difference...One Child at a Time
|Layettes being assembled|
I have a wonderful story that will warm your hearts on this cold, snowy morning.
If you ever wondered if our work makes a difference, Rikki and I can share with you what we witnessed yesterday. After our assembly, we brought 54 layettes (30 more than we usually bring them) and 2 bags of snowsuits from the Advent Giving Tree to Morristown Pediatric Health Center. When we arrived the waiting room was empty as it was not a clinic day but the staff greeted us with smiles, excitement, pure joy and appreciation for all the layettes. They couldnt believe how many we were delivering. As we were lugging them in, a young mother and her baby came out from their appointment. It immediately became apparent the baby was only wearing a onesie with a light blanket over the baby carrier. We all know how cold it was yesterday, we were all talking about it as we came in yesterday morning. We were all fully clothed coming from our warm cars! Not the same for this mom and her baby who were going back out in the cold and probably taking public transportation. The staff looked at the bags of snowsuits with delight and promptly found the proper size for this beautiful baby girl. We then got a layette and gave it to her and the nurse translated who we were and what was in the layette. This mom seemed genuinely surprised but oh so grateful. Rikki and I could barely see through our misty eyes! I still have chills recounting this story for you.
We then met with Joanna, the social worker who runs this program. She didnt have enough words to thank us for all we do for this center. She said that having Christ Child bring these layettes makes her job so special and being able to give these layettes to her clients makes a huge difference. She had tears in her eyes as she spoke to us—again Rikki and I were misty! It was a magical delivery and I hope you realize what a big part of this you are! Our whole organization does make a difference, one child at a time—and we witnessed it yesterday!
A big shout out to Jean who did all the shopping for this assembly—thank you—your selections are always adorable and picked with such love!!
To all that helped yesterday, old and new members—you did a great job and I so appreciate of all of you!
Led by our fearless Blankets for Babies chairperson, Theresa Sweeney, Cheryl Mullery, layette chair, and Angeli Breen, publicity chair, took Joannes Fabric by storm this week for a “Fleece Run” in preparation for the 4th Annual Christ Child Society of Summit Blankets for Babies Day on February 3rd. Theresa and her Texas drawl kept everyone on task and in good spirits, despite the 5:30 am wake up call and the lack of coffee for one particular shopper! She even used her southern charm to get an additional discount allowing the group to purchase MORE FLEECE!
The amazing staff at Joannes Fabric in Succasunna helped the shopping trio select, measure and cut yards and yards of adorable fleece. The goal was to buy enough fleece to make 250 blankets in a single day to include in the layettes that the Christ Child Society of Summit provides to babies in need at Overlook and Morristown hospitals. Layettes are bundles filled with newborn essentials that help babies and their families get off to a happy and healthy start. Blankets are made by volunteers of all ages and abilities, including middle and high school students. Sewing and craft enthusiasts are encouraged to attend, but non sewers are welcome! If you can cut, pin, iron, or tie a knot, you can help make blankets and join in the fun!
The 4th Annual Blankets for Babies Day will be held on February 3rd from 10 am to 8 pm in Memorial Hall at St. Teresas (across the street from St. Teresa of Avila Church, 306 Morris Ave., Summit, NJ).
To participate in this years event, or for more information, visit our home page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purchase of fleece for Blankets for Babies is funded by a generous Beacon Grant from the Summit Elks Lodge #1246.
“I Wouldn’t Miss the Rummage Sale!”
|Enjoying each others company after a long, hard days 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 wouldnt 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 shoppers 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. Teresas 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 members mother that had been hidden from the previous year. We put it out at the sale and our member said, “If it doesnt sell, I will take it back. I cant just donate my moms china.” Five minutes later a women wanted the china for the price we were asking. There was a huge smile on our members 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.
Empowering Our Leaders: Telling Our Story
|Lambi and Christina in front of Mary Virginia Merricks 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 Merricks 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 Stablers parents still live right next to Mary Virginia Merricks house and Tracy was married at Blessed Sacrament church. Six degrees of separation!
Baby Photo Day is a Challenge!
Pictured is a young”subject” taking a personal”time out” during Photo Day at Brighter Tomorrows Childrens 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.