In 1948, Milwaukeean Marjory Wilmot learned about the National Christ Child Society on a trip to Detroit. With eight charter members, the Milwaukee Chapter was formed. Their first service project provided eleven layettes to needy children through the Milwaukee Catholic Social Welfare Bureau. Early service programs involved feeding babies in orphanages, helping children who were deaf, sewing clothes for children at Easter and First Holy Communion and planning recreational activities for them. Members held teas and organized rummage sales to raise funds. True to its mission, Christ Child Society members looked for needs and then filled them.
In addition to its usual projects, the chapter continued to be aware of ever-changing needs. During the 1970s, at the request of military servicemen, members collect clothing for the needy in Vietnam. Partnerships with Penfield Center, Ronald McDonald House, Hope Network and more followed in the 1980s as members expanded community outreach.
In the 1990s, the chapter received more community recognition than it had ever known when it collaborated with a local television affiliate to ship layettes to an area decimated by Hurricane Andrew. As involvement with 19 community organizations grew, the chapter found a location — the Merrick Center on north 66th Street — to house administration, a resale shop, layettes and other chapter activities.
Today the Christ Child Society’s Milwaukee Chapter continues the rich tradition that began here more than 70 years ago. The Merrick Center has been moved to 4033 W. Good Hope Rd. Currently there are nearly 300 members committed to the signature layette program. In addition, the chapter has expanded services to meet changing community needs that include providing clothing to children in crisis situations, tutoring assistance to school children, offering outreach and educational programs to support mothers and their children, and awarding scholarships.
Click here to learn more about our service programs.