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The Christ Child Society began the Challenging Poverty, One Child at a Time initiative in 2003 to encourage chapters to develop hands-on programs. The Challenging Poverty Manual (link to full manual), revised in 2015, built on the premise that CCS volunteers could connect with children and families in ways that make a positive difference in the lives of all involved. This initiative is directly influenced by the guidance of Mary Virginia Merrick. The NCCS Approach to Challenging Poverty

CCS Programs are based on an understanding of Poverty and a measure of Cultural Awareness in order to positively impact the lives of the children and families served. NCCS offers guidance for program development and evaluations to make our programs impactful.

All Chapter programs fall into one of three primary categories:

Provide Basic Needs:
The primary Basic Needs program is the NCCS signature program, Layettes. These bundles of baby clothing and necessities are distributed to over 25,000 families across the country every year.
In addition, many chapters distribute winter coats, clothing and shoes, backpacks and school supplies, depending on the needs of their communities.


Enrich Education:
Many chapters have developed programs in schools, in preschools and childcare facilities and with social service agencies which support formal schooling and serve to provide positive interactions with children.  Literacy is a key to challenging poverty. More than 50% of our chapters are operating literacy programs and more chapters are planning to join the initiative – the impact on youth is powerful and impacts their future directly. If your chapter would like to improve or expand your current literacy program or start a new one, these resources will help. Development of Reading Programs.


Empower Children and Families:
Empowering children and families, building self-esteem, offering the tools for developing resiliency and planting the seeds of success are goals of many CCS programs.  Key to these programs is an awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences and understanding ways to Strengthen Families.

Find a complete list of Chapter Programs

Descriptions of chapter programs can be found here

Be sure to capture Chapter programs in action!  

Permission for use of photos should be kept on file. Sample Photo release form


“Love in the heart of a child for Christ…was the inspiration which gave birth to the Christ Child Society.”

Mary Virginia Merrick, Servant of God

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