Christ Child Members were lucky to have the new pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Parish celebrate mass with us at the home of Angeli Breen. He referred to the days reading and gospel and how it is easier to answer God’s call when a friend invites you to do something than when you may hear God calling you directly—when we are more apt to say, “no, not me!” So we have to be more willing to accept God’s invitation like we would accept a friends. He spoke about the special connection that comes from having a friend ask you to join them in volunteer work, and how effective that can be. He also referred to our founder, Mary Virginia Merrick, and how her physical disabilities did not hinder her in helping children, and in fact, inspired others to follow her example. We had a record number of members come to welcome Father Bob, and we thank him for taking the time to get to know the Christ Child Society of Summit a little better, and lend us his spiritual guidance.
The sun was shining on our 11th Annual Baby Shower on March 30th! Many friends, members and guests came out to support the Christ Child Society of Summit and our layette program. We received many generous donations of baby clothes and funds to help purchase them. We were lucky to have Maria Velasquez-Knight, the social worker from Overlook Hospitals HealthStart Clinic, speak to us about the impact our layettes have on the families who receive them. We are always so grateful to hear stories about how we have touched lives with our work.
Thank you to What a Dish for catering a fantastic lunch, to Wool and Grace for donating a door prize of wool and knitting lessons, to our event chairs, Lynne Strabley and Beth Tully, and to all the people that helped make the day a success.
A dozen or so members and friends of the Christ Child Society of Summit gathered at Cynthia Tarantinos house to make tiny toppers (baby hats) for our layettes. From experts to beginners just learning to cast on, everyone had a blast—eating, chatting, and knitting! Cant wait for our next opportunity to gather together to KNIT!
Twenty-nine volunteers gathered on Oct. 22nd, our nation’s largest day of service, to make a difference in our community!
We prepared baby clothes for packing in our layettes, worked on fleece baby blankets, and knitted tiny toppers (baby hats) as part of Layettes of Love, a day of service in honor of our founder’s 150th birthday this fall. Mary Virginia Merrick, whose cause for canonization as a Catholic saint is open, gave us a legacy of care for children in need that continues to inspire us all. We are so proud to have shared this day of service with 30 other Christ Child Society chapters and 1600 volunteers around the country!
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.
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!
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.”
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.
Young Kendal M. decided to use some of her communion money to help children in need, so she and her mom went shopping and bought several beautiful outfits, onesies, and pajamas to donate to the Christ Child Societys layette program. Now her handpicked outfits will find a home with newborns who receive a layette at Overlook or Morristown hopsitals. Thank you Kendal for your kind and generous spirit!