Angel Layette – Hand-made gown and hat given out at local hospitals for still born babies or babies who die shortly after birth. The Angel Layette is provided to all grieving families regardless of their income level.
Annual Mass – Held in conjunction with the Spring Luncheon, the Mass is a chance for members to gather together in the name of the Christ Child. During this Mass, our deceased members and their spouses are remembered. The offertory includes layette items brought by our members.
Board of Directors – The Board governs the work of the Society. It consists of 12-17 elected members, a parliamentarian and a past presidents’ representative. The executive board of the Board of Directors consists of the president, president-elect, vice-presidents of fundraising, membership, and clothing, corresponding secretary, recording secretary, and the treasurer. All other members are considered “at-large.” A term on the Board is three years.
Book Club – This group meets monthly to discuss books.
Book for a Child – This program encourages reading by the families whom we serve. Each child we clothe is the recipient of an age appropriate book. The program began and continues with donations of used and new books of any kind or level of reading from Christ Child Society members, their families and others in the community. Funding for “A Book for a Child” is from grant money.
Clothe-A-Child I – The Clothe-A-Child Campaign began in 1989 with a mailing to the membership asking each member to clothe a needy child. Since then the campaign has been expanded to include a mailing to other businesses in the community in the Fall. This campaign has continued to grow each year.
Clothe-A-Child II – This is the Christ Child Society’s most visible fundraiser for our clothing budget needs. Kicking off in the early fall, generous area business sponsors, Martin’s Supermarkets, Notre Dame Credit Union and Mutual Bank sell their customers brightly colored paper dolls for one dollar each. All of the profits go directly into purchasing new clothing, jackets, and shoes for needy children in our area. Local area Catholic Schools have participated in the fundraising by holding dress down days, or some other type of event. Since 1993, our community has been very generous in helping to clothe needy children one dollar at a time.
Clothing Center – Located at 308 South Scott St in South Bend, is the hub of all Society business. It is located in the former Saint Patrick’s school. The Center is the place where layettes are assembled, new clothing, shoes, and used clothing are sorted. The Center is alive with activity most every Wednesday morning from mid-August to mid-December for clothing distribution. The Center is also open four Sundays in the fall to accommodate clients who work or attend school and cannot come on Wednesday. During spring and summer months, volunteers inventory and restock for the coming school year.
Day of Recollection – This one day retreat for members and guests is held right before Lent. It is an opportunity to come together spiritually and reflect on the many gifts and blessings the Christ Child has given us. It is a chance to reflect, renew, and revitalize our mission.
Derby Day – This is a Spring social event where members and their guests put on their best Kentucky Derby hat and join together for an afternoon of fun, food, and a fantastic style show.
Directory – This little blue binder is a must have for Christ Child all members. It contains the Bylaws, Benefactors, Patrons, Guardian Angels, Board of Directors, Organizational Chart, Calendar of Events and the addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of members. In the back there are order forms for In Memoriam/Special Occasion cards and cookbooks.
Endowment – The Christ Child Society of South Bend has an Endowment Fund overseen by an Endowment Committee that reports to the Board of Directors. It was established in 1989 as a “rainy day” fund to be used in lean times or in the event relocation to a new building is necessary. Donations to the Endowment can be made directly or as a bequest from an estate.
Euchre – This group meets monthly to play euchre. It is just for fun.
Fall Luncheon & Meeting – Held in October, this luncheon is for all members and their guests. There is a short business meeting followed by a luncheon.
Guardian Angel – Guardian Angel is a special membership category established in 1998 with a $1000.00 enrollment fee dedicated to a deceased member, their spouse, or family member benefiting the Endowment Fund. Current members and spouses may pre-enroll. Their names are kept on a special list and they are officially enrolled upon their death.
Layette of Hope – This special project was started in 2005 in conjunction with the Women’s Care Center. When a women/girl has a positive pregnancy test at the Women’s Care Center, she is given a Layette of Hope as a gift from the Christ Child Society. The layette consists of a onesie tee shirt, a pair of baby socks and a prayer. It is our Hope that this layette will act as a reminder to the mother that the baby she is carrying is a real, beautiful child. It is our Hope that that mother will choose life for her child.
In Memoriam – The In Memoriam/Special Occasion cards are a way to send donations in any amount to the Christ Child Society in memory of a deceased relatives and friends or in celebration of happy events such as birthdays and anniversaries respectively. All names of those being remembered are entered in to the “In Memoriam” book and a Mass is offered for all these intentions around the twenty-fifth of each month at Little Flower Church in South Bend. In Memoriam/Special Occasion cards may be requested from the In Memoriam chairman or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeans – Each child, age 1 through 12, referred to the Christ Child Society receives a new pair of jeans, a new sweatshirt, polo style shirt, 6 pairs of underwear, 6 pairs of socks, a t-shirt, sneakers, winter coat, hats and gloves.
In Kind Donations – Donations of goods and services from members, family members or “friends” of Christ Child are always welcome. We can use help with advertising, printing, shipping, storage of clothing, maintenance and repairs, yarn and many, many more things. Please watch the Newsletter for announcements throughout the year for things that are needed.
Knitting – Knitters and crocheters make the handmade sweaters and hats for our layettes. Yarn and directions are available from the layette department for all who would like to join this group.
Layettes – Our longest standing project started in 1947, the layette program provides clothing and essentials to babies born to needy mothers. Layettes are assembled at the Center and distributed to Saint Joseph Health System, Mishawaka Medical Center, and Memorial Hospital. Caseworkers at these facilities give out the layettes based on the financial need of the mother. Our layettes include all new: blankets, onesies, sleepers, grow bags, socks, bottles, pram suits, handmade sweaters and hats, the book Good Night Moon and informational parenting pamphlets. The new clothing is supplemented with used clothing when available. Every Christ Child Chapter in the country has a layette program.
Let Love Shine – 2011 was the inaugural year of our largest fundraising event, Let Love Shine. Funds raised through this annual event are crucial to meet the increasing demands of the ever-growing needs of underprivileged children in our community.
Motor Corp – This group of members picks up used clothing at a variety of schools, churches and consignment shops around the area. They deliver the clothing to the Center on Wednesday mornings. This is a great job for people who don’t have large chunks of time to devote to meetings or working at the Center since the pickup and drop off processes only take a few minutes.
National – The National Christ Child Society, organized in 1916, is a federation of 44 chapters. The National Society preserves the founding spirit of the Society, serves as a bond among chapters, publishes a newsletter sent to all members, and gives annual grants from its Merrick Scholars Fund to graduate students in social work at the Catholic University of America who are planning a career in service to children. The National Board of Directors represents the Christ Child Society nationally, acts in an advisory capacity to Chapters, studies national trends in social service, and calls attention to the unmet needs of children. Currently, each chapter pays National $12 dues for each member and $20 chapter support for each member. Therefore, $32 of each member’s dues collected by our local chapter goes to the National office.
New Member Coffee– This event is a gathering held in the May at the Center. The guest list is comprised of prospective members who want to learn more about our mission or are recommended by a current member. Guests are given a history of both the local and national chapters and a summary of the service opportunities here in South Bend. It’s a great way to see where we’ve been and how we can serve now and in the future.
Newsletter – Click HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.
Prayer – The Christ Child Prayer – “Remember in this Sacrifice of Your own and only child, all children everywhere throughout the world, and grant that, like Your Son, as they increase in years, they may grow in grace and wisdom before You and in the sight of all for the improvement and saving of the world. “ “O Jesus the friend of little children, bless the little children of the whole world.”
Products for Sale – The Christ Child Society has a variety of products for sale at the Center and at all member meetings. These items include: note cards, Christmas cards, pins, cookbooks, travel mugs, canvas bags, t-shirts, and sweatshirts.
Quilts – Members and friends of the Christ Child Society make lovely quilts that are included in our baby layettes.
Referral – Each client who seeks the services of the Christ Child Society must be referred by a local social service agency that works with the Christ Child Society by prescreen each potential client for need.
Saint Adalbert –SUCCESS Program – SUCCESS stands for St. Adalbert School United with Christ Child Educational Support Services. It is a tutoring and mentoring program for students at St. Adalbert School, one of the neediest schools in South Bend. Volunteers from Christ Child are tutors, mentors and act as classroom helpers under the guidance of the facility and principal.
Scholarship Program – Introduced in 2010, the scholarship is intended to be an annual, renewable award given to enable an eligible Christ Child client to pursue her education in order that she may better serve her children and the community. The scholarship is funded through the endowment fund and applications are given out at the center or upon request. The money awarded to the recipient may be used at any accredited college or university in St. Joseph County.
Spring Luncheon/Annual Meeting – Held in March, this luncheon, for all members and their guests, takes place immediately following the Annual Mass. There is a business meeting that includes an introduction of new officers.
Used Clothing – Used clothing is collected by the motor corps and sorted at the Center through out the year. Cold weather clothing is used to supplement the new clothing given to the clients. An outfit of gently used clothing is distributed when a child’s sizes are available. All good quality used infant clothing is sorted and given out with new layettes year round.
Volunteers – Volunteers are the hands of the Christ Child here on Earth doing His work for at-risk children.