Who We Are
We are a group of dedicated volunteers from all faiths and backgrounds that are joined with purpose to help under-resourced children and their families. Our chapter was chartered in 2010. We strive to make a difference in the life of each child we serve. Our work is done with love, fostering joy and lifelong friendships.
The Christ Child Society of Summit is a nonprofit organization whose members are dedicated to serving the needs of children and families in our community.
Board of Directors
President – Christine Murray
Immediate Past President – Jane Murphy
Secretary – Bev Luehs
Treasurer, Maria Ciaravalli
Vice President, Outreach – Margaret Strong
Vice President, Events/Fundraising – Rebecca Preston Murphy
Vice President, Communications – Catherine Liguori
Vice President, Membership – Lois Melka
Spiritual Advisor – Msgr. Robert Meyer, Pastor, St. Teresa of Avila Church
Our Leadership Team
Layettes – Sarah Lavin, Sarah Walker, Sue Huffman Flannery
Blankets for Babies – Addie Fekete, Janet Slater
Knitting Angels – Cynthia Tarantino and Jeanne Lawler
School Supplies – Jennifer Rustum and Debbie Williams
Layette Donation Cards – Lori White
Scholarship – Maura Perier
Literacy/Tutoring – Open
Baby Shower – Denise Kelly, Amy McCarthy
Rummage Sale – Rikki Owens, Kathi Franolich, Leslie Drummond
Spirituality – Delma Puttress
Publicity – Stefanie Faris
Website/Social Media – Kathryn Colao, Janet Slater
The Summit Chapter of the Christ Child Society was originally chartered in 1929, and retired in 1999 after 70 years of service. In 2006, our chapter’s “new founder” heard about the Christ Child Society from college friends in Washington, DC. Knowing there was a need to fill in Summit, she worked to re-establish the chapter. The Summit Chapter was granted its charter in September of 2010. Due to an enthusiastic response, Summit’s membership now boasts over 115 and continues to grow, as women throughout the area dedicate themselves to providing aid and supplies to at-risk children in Summit and neighboring towns.
The Christ Child Society, founded in 1887 in Washington, D.C. by Mary Virginia Merrick, is a non-profit association of volunteers dedicating their love of the Christ Child through personal service to needy children. Over 100 years later, her legacy continues to bring hope and assistance to the most vulnerable through the work of our 6,000 members in 44 chapters around the country.
“When I read ‘She wrapped him in swaddling clothes,’ I longed to do the same, and He Himself taught me that I might still do so in the person of His poor, and a great desire was born within me to go out and find the poor that I might find Him.”
Mary Virginia Merrick, Servant of God
Born November 2, 1866 in Washington, DC to parents who valued faith, education and service, Mary Virginia Merrick as early as age 12 wanted to devote herself to serving children in need, inspired by her love of the Christ Child. Even when paralyzed and unable to sit without support as a result of a fall in her teens, Mary never faltered in her determination to serve the poor. She started her mission of service at just 16, with a gift of handmade clothing to an infant expected to a needy family at Christmas 1884.
When Mary was 19, her parents died within a short time of each other, leaving her with the responsibility of caring for her six siblings. Despite her responsibilities, her pain, and her physical limitations, Mary was fueled by her vision of seeing the Christ Child in every child—and treating each child accordingly. She gathered her friends to help meet the significant needs of children in the Washington area, formally establishing the Christ Child Society in 1887. She dedicated the next 68 years—until her death on January 10, 1955 at the age of 88—to the leadership and expansion of the Society.