HISTORY OF CAPE MAY COUNTY CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY

The National Christ Child Society is a voluntary service organization devoted to promoting the welfare of needy children. It was founded by Mary Virginia Merrick in 1887, in Washington D.C. There are currently over 7,000 members serving in 40 chapters throughout the United States.

The organization of the Cape May County Chapter of the National Christ Child Society was begun in 1982, with Mary Trengrove and a few other women spearheading the foundation. Sister Ellen Sullivan, the moderator, gave spiritual advice and encouragement. On August 18, 1982, George H. Guilfoyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Camden, granted approval for a chapter to be formed in Cape May County and for the chapter to apply for membership in the National Christ Child Society. In June of 1983, one hundred dollars in seed money was given to the Cape May County Chapter by the National Christ Child Society. In that same month, the Cape May County Chapter began to work on its structure. By November 4, 1983, by-laws and the names of the elected officers of the chapter had been sent to the National Office. The first officers of the Cape May County Chapter were:

President- Mary Trengrove
Vice-President – Irma Plunkett
Secretary – Mary Imburga
Treasurer - Mary Borreca
Spiritual Advisor – Sr. Christian Jones

On May 9, 1984, during the National Christ Child Society convention in Portland, Oregon, the charter for the Cape May County Chapter was presented to us. Our chapter now had all of the rights and responsibilities of a chartered chapter in the National Christ Child Society.

The Christ Child Society of Cape May County has continued to grow in members and the total services provided for needy children. The primary emphasis is placed on helping the newborn and infants in need. Our work is done for all needy children, regardless of race, color or creed. To defray the cost of materials and items, the Christ Child Society has raised money in various ways. Members have held raffles, garage sales and our yearly Luncheon-Fashion Show. Celebrate Life, our annual Baby Shower, has become a popular event in our area. The price of admission to the Baby Shower is a wrapped baby gift. The many gifts we receive are used in making the baby layettes. At times, used clothing and “legal” baby cribs in good condition are collected. These items are cleaned, repaired and delivered to agencies that have identified a particular need.

Through the performance of our various activities, the members of the Christ Child Society always remember that the motive and spirit of our work is a love of Christ expressing itself in personal service to His children. To enrich our spiritual lives, in February a Day of Recollection is enjoyed by our ladies at the Marianist Family Retreat House in Cape May Point. To enrich our social lives our annual Christmas Brunch is held at the Washington Inn in Cape May.

The sharing of responsibility and the cooperation of members in our various projects are part of the camaraderie and love so evident in our meetings. As we work together in the service to God’s “little ones”, we grow together in love for them and for the Christ Child.

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