The Good News 
Newsletter from the Christ Child Society of Summit
Spring 2014 Newsletter         

A Message from our Co-Presidents
What an amazing year we are having!  In addition to our "signature events" and our ever-popular layette assembly days and Home Masses, the year has been filled with fellowship and good works:
  • we successfully held two more Blankets for Babies days; 
  • we started Tiny Toppers (to make hand kitted hats); 
  • we increased our membership by an additional 15%; 
  • our Layette Card sales went through the roof, and
  • we secured two local grants this year to fund our work. 
These accomplishments have enabled us to gather more support to help more children than ever before -- and that's what it's all about!


Our Annual Baby Shower was a huge success thanks to the leadership of our chairs, the committee, and the support of our members and friends.  Our Scholarship Committee selected our second scholarship recipient after evaluating a record number of applications.
We have continued our outreach to the teen parents at Central High School in Newark with a job readiness workshop and our first parenting workshop.  
Our annual School Supplies Drive is underway and we are hoping to reach every local student who needs our help to start the school year in September prepared and ready to learn.
Lastly, please watch for a brief online survey that we recently sent to your e-mail. The survey link will only be live for a short period and we would like you to complete the survey so that we can better understand and engage our membership.  Your opinions matter, so please take a few minutes to reply.


Our organization is growing stronger every year because of YOU, our members, who are committed to our mission to serve children in need in our community. Together, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of children of all ages.  Thank you for all you do for the Christ Child Society of Summit!


Have a wonderful and relaxing summer.

Kathryn Colao and Lori White, Co-Presidents

Our Board


Past President

 Kathryn Colao and Lori White

 Lambi Newsham
 Margaret Strong (Outreach) 
 Christina Amundson (Communications)
 Maura Perier
 Terry Andrews

Spiritual Advisors
Fr. Brian Plate and Msgr. Guenther

Save the Dates
August 26-28, 2014 
School Supplies Distributions
Bridges Outreach
September 23, 2014 
General Meeting
9am Memorial Hall


October 7, 2014 
Home Mass 8:30am
October 18, 2014 
November 20, 2014 
General Meeting
9am Memorial Hall
December 2, 2014
Home Mass 8:30am


January 15, 2015
General Meeting 7pm


February 4, 2015
Blankets for Babies 

February 10, 2015
Home Mass 8:30am

March 25, 2015 


April 23, 2015
General Meeting
9am Memorial Hall
May 5, 2015
Home Mass 8:30am


May 8, 2015 
"End of Year" Cocktail
Quick Links

Annual School Supplies Drive

In the words of Mary Virginia Merrick,  "Nothing is ever too much to do for a child."  But sometimes, it's the little things (like pencils, erasers and binders) that make a  huge difference.
Once again we are partnering with Bridges Outreach to collect and distribute next year's school supplies for the 500
qualifying children in need in the Summit Public Schools. These children are eligible for free or reduced lunch and may not otherwise have been able to afford school supplies.  
When you are out running errands or purchasing your own family's supplies, please think about helping the less fortunate Summit children by purchasing some of the following items.  We are collecting new:
  • 1", 2" & 3" binders
  • 3-hole pencil cases
  • Subject dividers
  • 2-pocket folders
  • Marble composition books
  • Loose-leaf paper (college or wide ruled)
  • Spiral notebooks (college or wide ruled)
  • 8-pack colored pencils or thin markers
  • 3X5 lined notecards
  • #2 pencils and erasers
  • Blue, black & red pens
  • Glue sticks
  • Highlighters
Collection bins can be found at the following Summit locations through August 25th:
Bridges Outreach -- 120 Morris Avenue (entrance on Russell Place)
Summit Fire House -- 396 Broad Street
We are looking for volunteers to assist with setting up and handing out the school supplies that we're collecting.  Distribution to the students will take place at Bridges Outreach, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit (entrance on Russell Place)


Tuesday, 8/26        9-11 am     Set up
Wednesday, 8/27   9-12 noon   Distribution to students
Thursday, 8/28       4-6 pm       Distribution to students 
Please e-mail Sally Golding at with your availability.  No children or teens for distribution, please.  
Last year, we were able to assist 323 elementary, middle school and high school students. Through our efforts, the children went to school prepared for the business of learning despite the economic challenges that their families are facing.  Please consider taking time out from your busy summer to help Summit students in need!

Sally Golding and Jane Murphy,
School Supplies Drive Co-Chairs
Layette Cards Help us Fund our Work
A Christ Child Layette Card is a thoughtful and meaningful gift that supports our Layette Program.  Layette Cards can be given for any special occasion.   


Regular Layette cards are offered at $10 (partial layette) or $40 or more (full layette).  All proceeds from all these cards fund layettes for babies in need served through our Layette Program. 


Members and friends can donate in three easy ways:

1. Buy cards on-line at with payment by credit card using the PayPal system. 

2. Buy cards at the next Christ Child Mass or meeting. 

3. Pick up some Layette order envelopes from the back of St. Teresa  of Avila Church.


Our Layette Card program can make a significant difference to those born without the benefit of essentials we take for granted.  The names of the donors and honorees will be listed on our website at


For the calendar year of 2013, we sold $4,200 in cards, shattering our sales record for 2012 by over $1,000 (or 30%). We are off to a banner year in 2014 with over $1,000 in sales at the Baby Shower in March. Our Christmas Card debut was highly successful, with $375 in sales.  The cards were well received at the Oak Knoll Royal Boutique, and next year, we are hoping to sell at the Delbarton "Shop Till you Drop" event. Most importantly, we are getting our Christ Child message out to the broader community with these efforts. In terms of operations, we have replenished our card inventory and have created a small business card that explains the mission of the layette program.  We have also added a couple new committee members this year who have brought fresh ideas and energy to our small group! 

Angela Schroeder,


Annual Rummage Sale 
Our Annual Rummage Sale has become a much anticipated event each Fall!  Proceeds go to fund our programs for children in need, including our layette program, our school supplies program and our Christ Child Society Scholarship. 
Save the Date!
Our 6th Annual Rummage Sale will take place on
Saturday, October 18th
at St. Teresa's Memorial Hall
Save that treasure you no longer need for our upcoming Rummage Sale! We can always use: toys, jewelry, art, household items, small appliances, small furniture, children's books, sports equipment, and tools.   
Lambi Newsham and Bev Leuhs, Co-Chairs

News from the Spirituality Committee

We hope that you have been able to enjoy at least one of our popular Home Masses -- a meaningful way to gather together, share and recharge for our mission of helping children in need.   
We are thankful for the many members who have opened their homes for this very special purpose like Angeli Breen, Margie Conniff and Amy McCarthy.  We listed the dates of remaining Home Masses in the "Save the Dates" section of this newsletter to help you plan ahead.  
Please let Elaine Phipps know if you have a special loved one you would like us to keep in our prayers.  We will add their name to our prayer list, which is brought to our Mass gatherings. Prayer requests can be made at any time.


We urge you to continue to pray for the canonization of our founder with the following prayer that Msgr. Guenther shared with us:

Listen to our prayer sweet Jesus

You're the one we dearly love

Grant that soon our Mary Virginia

May be made with Saints above. 

Elaine Phipps,

Spirituality Chair 

Annual Baby Shower
Our 8th Annual Baby Shower was a huge success! Once again, we had a great day of community, worship, and service. Over 100 people were in attendance for Mass and lunch, and we received many generous donations from members and friends. When the dust had cleared we had received the equivalent of about 125 layettes in monetary donations and layette items. We gratefully acknowledge your generosity, which makes it possible for us to help children in need.  

One of the highlights of the Annual Baby Shower was the presentation of the 2014 Mary Virginia Merrick Award to Jane Murphy and Sally Golding, who exemplify the spirit of our founder in both their enthusiasm for our programs and their dedication to the Christ Child Society.


Together, Jane and Sally are co-chairing our school supply drive for the third consecutive year. Both have been instrumental in taking this event from a small collection of school supplies donated from members to a community wide drive with collection bins all over Summit. Over the years they've developed a stronger partnership with Bridges, which has expanded the drive from spring to summer. They gather supply lists from schools, organize inventory and coordinate volunteers for two distribution days in August, where a makeshift "store" is lined with back packs and supplies for the children to shop. Through their efforts and leadership, this past fall 323 Summit students went to school prepared for learning despite their family's economic challenges.


Jane is one of our original Christ child members, from the early days 8 years ago, when the chapter was formed.  Her continued positive energy to support our signature events and recruit others to the organization is indispensable.  Sally has been a member for four years and has hit the ground running.  She is an invaluable member of our layette committee, shopping, assembling and delivering layettes to hospitals, always with a helping hand.  Both Jane and Sally have cut, ironed, pinned and sewed at our Blankets for Babies days and touch many of our programs including Central High School, the rummage sale, advent giving tree and our Home Masses.


We sincerely thank Sally and Jane for their leadership and devotion in furthering the mission of service for children. Their follow through, positive attitude and desire to help others is commendable.


Our Annual Baby Shower inspired more Baby Showers to benefit needy infants: one at Mercer and one at Marsh. The workforce at Mercer Health and Benefits in Morristown, NJ held a baby shower for the Christ Child Society of Summit in early May. We received hundreds of adorable outfits,
"stretchies," onesies and other items to complete our layettes. Each piece of clothing was more adorable than the last -- it was obvious that all were chosen and purchased with care.  We used these beautiful donations in the summer layettes we packed in early June. The Marsh Model Office Hoboken Team heard what its sister company Mercer had done and held a baby shower of their own to help us reach even more needy newborns.  
Many thanks to our friends at Mercer and Marsh for their thoughtfulness and generosity, which will directly benefit children in need at Overlook and Morristown hospitals.  


Save the Date! 

Our 9th Annual Baby Shower will take place on 

Thursday, March 25, 2015


Kathy Gettings and Julie Vlass, Co-Chairs


Layette Update

The layette assembly process continues to evolve and improve. Our layettes include 5 onesies, 2 pajamas, 1 outfit, 1 hat, 2 receiving blankets, 1 miscellaneous item, one handmade fleece blanket and a knitted sweater and/or hat.  In the winter months, we also provide a warm snowsuit to babies who need them. 


We were fortunate to receive a generous and very timely donation of 42 warm snowsuits from the Summit Junior League. With the coldest winter in years upon us, the donation of these snowsuits helped us provide warm winter outerwear to babies in need at Overlook and Morristown hospitals.  We thank the Junior League members (who kindly sponsored the snowsuits) for their generosity and welcome their community partnership.


We have committed to include one adorable, handmade fleece blanket and a hand-knit item in each layette we donate.  Our signature program expanded to include two additional sets of events: Blankets for Babies Days (to make the fleece blankets) and Tiny Toppers (to knit the baby hats). 


This year we held two "Blankets for Babies" days where our members and friends came together on one day to cut, pin, sew, iron, and tie fringe on hundreds of adorable fleece blankets. Since our members and friends make the fleece blankets and knitted hats, we can be sure to honor our commitment and include them in the layettes we donate.  To date we have delivered 120 layettes to Overlook and Morristown Hospitals.


We acknowledge the generous grant from Summit Elks Lodge #1246, which allowed us to host another  Blankets for Babies Day in May at the Elks Lodge.  This grant helped us to keep up our tradition of "including one in each layette."  We accomplished the following: 


Elks B4B Day
146 blankets completed, 73 in process
35 blankets completed, 82 in process


Save the Date!

Our next Blankets for Babies Day will take place on

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


We are grateful for the many members, friends and parishioners who responded to make these days such a success, and to all who answer the calls to assemble our layettes.  
Thanks to everyone...we are making a difference!  If you are interested in helping with assembling, shopping for, or delivering layettes, please contact Theresa Sweeney at


Jean Fiory, Sally Golding, Margaret Strong and Theresa Sweeney,

Layette Committee

Knitting Angels Update

We are always looking for individuals or groups to make handmade baby hats to bring that special personalized touch to our layettes. This year we held two "Tiny Toppers" events at Wool and Grace in Summit to make the adorable knit hats that we include in our layettes to add that personal touch to our layettes. 
One of our Tiny Toppers events was held in the morning and the other in the evening to accommodate our members who work during the day. Both events were intimate and well-attended by women at all levels of knitting experience -- from newbies to experts.   
We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Patty and Kathy, owners of Wool and Grace, who have been so willing to open their store for our members and to provide knitting expertise as needed. We currently are looking for a chair or co-chairs to serve as a resource for members interested in knitting. In the meantime, if you or a friend would like the pattern we used to make a hat (or two), please contact Christina Amundson at

The Early Learning Center at Central High School 

Since the fall, we have helped at the Infant and Toddler Early Learning Center at Central High School by volunteering and by contributing items during the holidays. 
In November, we presented each baby with one of our handmade fleece blankets, just as the coldest winter we've had in years was beginning. At Christmas, we provided gifts for the children from the Advent Giving Tree at St. Teresa's Parish, and we provided gifts for the teen parents.  We also treated the staff to a much deserved luncheon.

We are increasing our efforts to provide mentoring to the teen parents, and held a Job Workshop and a Parenting Workshop this May. We also be took class photos and provided treats and small gifts for the teen parents on Mother's Day. We gratefully acknowledge all of our volunteers who shared their time and special talents with the teen parents at Central High School.  A special note of thanks to Elisa Mezzacappa and Michele Cohen, who even brought baby toothbrushes and other useful goodies for the workshop about oral/dental health and hygiene for babies and toddlers. 


Our work at Central High School addresses the Christ Child initiative of "Challenging Poverty - One Child at a Time, which challenges us to volunteer on a personal level with children.   Mary Virginia Merrick, The founder of CCS is quoted: "....personal contact with the needy for the love of Christ develops true charity and gives it vital force." We invite all our members to volunteer at the center and reap the rewards of working with these very special and inspiring people.


To learn more about the paperwork that needs to be completed before volunteering, contact Kathryn Colao at

Membership News


The strength of the Christ Child Society of Summit is its active membership and we welcome members throughout the year.  


Our "new" members tend to jump right in--many new members have already visited Central High, helped with layettes, taken leadership roles in our organization, hosted Home Masses or come to our rummage sale, "Blankets for Babies" or "Tiny Toppers" days, and our Baby Shower. Our chapter is excited to welcome 17 new members since January!  Our newest members are:  
Terri Axtell
Diane Badenhausen
Veronica Bonnet
Cindy Doherty
Margaret Feeney
Lucy Lord
Caroline Maldonado
Sarah Murray
Lauren Pardo
Ellen Purcell
Sheila Schlageter
Louise Sparanga
Sue Sylva
Claire Toth (Dietz)
Carin Valeo
Tina Whitman
Jenny Wimsatt


Please welcome them when you see them around town or at our next event.  Most have already jumped right in and helped us make a difference in the life of a child.  


Thank you to all of the members who are spreading the word about Christ Child and bringing so many people to our organization!  We plan some of our activities during the day, in the evenings and even on weekends so that our members can make at least one despite their busy schedules. Please feel free to talk to your friends about the good work that we do at the Christ Child Society of Summit and to invite them to our meetings and events.  Please don't forget to take our short survey and let us know what activities you enjoy and which activities you would like us to take on! 

To join our Summit chapter, simply visit our website and follow the prompts or contact our Membership Chair, Betty Ann Lecky, at


If you are an existing member, please remember that dues are payable each January.   You can pay your dues on line at our website  Don't forget to keep us informed of any changes in your email address, mailing address, or phone number.  Contact Betty Ann at with any changes, or if you have a friend who is interested in joining.  

Christ Child Society of Summit Scholarship

In what is quickly becoming a tradition, our Chapter awarded its second annual scholarship of $2,000 to Gwendolyn Rogers, a Summit High School senior who plans to attend The New School in New York City in the Fall.  We congratulate Gwen and we commend her for all of her hard work and focus during her high school year!

Gwen's impressive application was chosen not only based on academic merit, but also on her dedication to Summit High School, the community and her work experience.  Gwen serves as an EMT for the Rescue Squad, is co-editor of The Verve, teaches yoga classes at a local gym and is an integral part of her younger brother's life.  She has chosen to follow one of her passions and concentrate on holistic health at The New School.  We wish Gwen the best of luck and we are sure that she will excel there too!


A committee chaired by Maura Perier, our Chapter Treasurer, and consisting of Jackie Browne, Allison Lees, Bev Luehs and Terry Schlenger reviewed and evaluated 31 applications before selecting Gwen as the scholarship winner. Congratulations to Maura and the entire Scholarship Committee for doing such a valuable service to help a child reach her full potential!

Looking for a Few Good Women...

Uncle Sam
The Christ Child Society of Summit wants YOU!
Would you like to "shadow" our experienced chairs as they manage their programs, and perhaps take on a leadership role in the future?  Rummage Sales, School Supplies, and Central High School all need another hand at the helm. We also need someone to do some grant writing or help with our newsletter. You don't have to be experienced -- just willing!  Please consider donating a bit more of your time and talents to the Christ Child Society and help us succeed in our mission to make a difference in the lives of children in need. Contact Lori White at if you are interested.
To learn more about our activities and opportunities visit our website or contact the following:  
Baby Shower
Julie Vlass at
Sheila Schlageter at
Central High School 
Early Learning Center
 Kathryn Colao at


Theresa Sweeney at
Margaret Strong at 

 Knitting Angels

Currently Open
Contact Christina Amundson at
School Supplies Drive

Jane Murphy at
Sally Golding at
Layette Cards
Laura Sullivan at
Rummage Sale
Lambi Newsham at
Bev Luehs at
Prayer Intentions/Mass

Elaine Phipps at
Newsletter/email Blasts
Christina Amundson at
Angeli Breen at

Kathryn Colao at


Betty Ann Lecky at

Maura Perier at
The Christ Child Society Prayer
"Remember in the 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.
 Jesus, the Friend of little children, bless the little children of the world."