Mary Virginia Merrick, Servant of God, established the Christ Child Society almost 130 years ago, when she inspired her friends and family members in Washington to join her in personal service to children in need. And she continues to inspire our organization today as do her visionary statements, which come off our lips as we seek to meet the needs of today’s children: “Nothing is ever too much to do for a child,” “Find a need and fill it,” and “To work is to pray”.
Which is why this year the National Christ Child Society and 30 of our chapters participated in our first ever national day of volunteering for National Make a Difference Day on or about, October 22, 2016, in honor of Miss Mary’s 150th birthday. Our theme was Layettes of Love since the packing of layettes goes back to our origin when Mary Virginia Merrick and her friends made and distributed the first layettes for babies born at Christmas time.
Our chapters made a difference in so many ways! Texas Capital had local girl scout troops helping them loom baby hats while Albany had help from a couple of Brownie groups and Northern Michigan from a 4H club! Akron held a “Trunk or Treat” event in which they collected donations of teethers, bottles, books and cash to fund their layette program.
Washington D.C. held diaper drives and MVM’s very own parish, Blessed Sacrament, participated in the drive! Quad Cities collected 50 homemade blankets. Oshkosh spent the day making their own layette items while the Denver chapter made baby blankets.
The Columbus chapter actually taught their members and guests how to knit which will definitely benefit the chapter in the future!
And I was able to join my very own Cleveland chapter as we packed layettes and collected books to include in our future layettes. The Boca Raton chapter who had members and volunteers ranging from five to ninety years old summed it up when they said “Any age can make a difference!” See more chapters in action on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalchristchildsociety/
All of these events were inspired by Mary Virginia Merrick whose Cause for Canonization as a saint in the Catholic Church continues to progress. I would encourage everyone who reads this post both to take a moment and pray the Canonization prayer in honor of her birthday today, November 2, and to forward this post to other Christ Child members, friends, relatives and religious and ask that they say the prayer today as well: http://www.maryvirginiamerrick.org/pray
“The personal element brings true charity into life. The giver and the gift are brought together, and the link is the Christ Child.”
Happy Birthday Miss Mary!!