Monthly Archives: October 2016

Mary Virginia Merrick-Still hard at work after 150 years!

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”. 


Booties made by hand in the Pasadena, CA chapter at Make a Difference Day

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.


Girls scouts at Texas Make A Difference Day looming hats


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.





Students from Mary Virginia Merrick’s parish promote diaper drive under her portrait


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!

Learning to knit at Make A Difference Day in Columbus

Learning to knit at Make A Difference Day in Columbus






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:

Packing layettes in Cleveland

Packing layettes in Cleveland

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:



“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!! 



Boca Raton’s Birthday Cake for Mary Virginia Merrick



Marybeth Baucco

The National Christ Child Society and its 43 chapters serve children in 19 states across the USA.  Our nearly 6,000 members volunteer in a wide variety of ways to meet local needs, often partnering with other organizations and always supported by friends.  Our founder Mary Virginia Merrick’s mantra inspires us today:   “Nothing is ever too much to do for a child.”  This blog is my attempt to connect both members and friends with who we are, the work we are doing, and what we strive to do in the future. And you might occasionally find a quote, a story, a recipe or a prayer here as well.  Please subscribe on the right side of this page to join the conversation!

Marybeth Baucco, President
National Christ Child Society

Passing the Roses: A New Beginning


The “Gavel”

The gavel was passed-or rather the roses! And as you can see they made the journey home from Atlanta, Georgia to Cleveland, Ohio, and managed to look beautiful for an additional week!

It is my privilege to take over the writing of the blog from Anne Kelley, our Immediate Past President. I must reiterate some of Anne’s comments from her last blog. Our convention in Atlanta was truly wonderful! Thank you to the Atlanta chapter for helping the convention run so smoothly and for taking us to visit Elizabeth’s Garden. It was so special to see it in person! And thank you to all the chapter members who attended and who have sent us feedback to make our next conference and convention even more valuable to the chapters.


Molly Fanning of Columbus, Marybeth Baucco of Cleveland and Kaye Rowe of Akron at the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company Cheers for a Child event.

One of my presentations during the convention was on fund-raising and I couldn’t miss going to Akron’s Cheers for a Child after I had learned so much about it. Held on the Tuesday after convention at a local brewery, Thirsty Dog, it featured a raffle of five items including a flat screen TV, a 50/50 raffle, delicious food, and a chance to mingle with many Akron chapter members as well as 300 other attendees! And to my surprise, I ran into Molly Fanning, new National Board member and President of the Columbus chapter who came to check out this fundraiser as a possibility for the Columbus chapter.




Kathleen Curtin, Executive Director for the Washington chapter, Katherine Warren, Marybeth Baucco, Melanie Mbuyi, and event co-chairs, Marianna O’Brien Barlow and Kate Burke at Washington’s Red Wagon Luncheon.

Kathleen Curtin, Executive Director for the Washington chapter, Katherine Warren, Marybeth Baucco, Melanie Mbuyi, and event co-chairs, Marianna O’Brien Barlow and Kate Burke at Washington’s Red Wagon Luncheon.


Mid-October saw me heading to Bethesda to spend four days with Carolyn and Mary at the National office. Together we accomplished much in planning for the next board to begin their work. It was also very inspiring to me to see once again all the MVM memorabilia in the office as well as writings in her own hand. I was lucky enough to be in town to attend the Washington Chapter’s Red Wagon luncheon.  Patricia McGuire, the president of Washington Trinity University since 1989 was the featured speaker and among the 180 guests, were a table of girls from their Girls on the Rise program. The Girls on the Rise Program is a multifaceted empowerment program for girls age 8-18 and their families. It operates out of the Mary Virginia Merrick Center in Southeast, D.C. and the program provides a safe, enriching after-school program for the girls. The girls told us that they were looking forward to being part of National Make a Difference Day on October 22nd!!

And speaking of Red Wagons, the Columbus chapter held theirs on Wednesday, October 19th.  It was a beautiful but warm fall day for the ride to Columbus and it was worth it to see the many dedicated Columbus Christ Child ladies as they celebrated 35 years! The luncheon was very well attended with over 450 attendees including members from the various Ohio Christ Child chapters who came to support Columbus!  Everyone enjoyed bidding on the great Silent

"Christian Bling" specially commissioned red wagon bracelet.

“Christian Bling” specially-commissioned red wagon bracelet.

Auction items and shopping at the various vendors. The Columbus chapter even had one vendor, Christian Bling, design a special bracelet for them with a red wagon charm which they had for sale! 

It was a wonderful afternoon made even more special when a good friend of mine who lives in Columbus and came with me to the luncheon, told me she is ready to become a Christ Child member!!


Members from the Akron, Cleveland, and Toledo chapters with Columbus chapter president, Molly  Fanning.

And that is what it is all about-friend-raising-to help our chapters continue to grow and thrive!