The Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan is active in many service projects in addition to the Layettes, Backpacks, Showers of Love, and Christmas projects.
This project is a good way to begin to meet members while working on the fleece blankets in our Christ Child House. There is no need to know how to sew. The blankets are cut to the correct dimensions and all a member needs to do is follow the written directions for making small slits and tying knots. There are two ways to participate: either come to one of the monthly sessions and/or pick up a bag of blankets and work at home. There is a blanket sign out sheet on a clip board as you enter the Christ Child House. These blankets are used for the Head Start Backpack Program and the Foster Care Kits. In 2022, 320 blankets were made and distributed.
The project allows for direct contact with the students in a classroom. The project chair coordinates with the school principals to create a schedule of dates and times for teacher requested support and availability of each helper. There is always a need for helpers in the classroom. We serve schools in Harbor Springs and Petoskey. In 2022, volunteers provided support to 42 children.
Read to Me
Members read age appropriate books to preschoolers once a month and the book that was read is gifted to each child to take home. By doing this, we hope someone at home will read to the child and encourage a love of reading. Volunteers read in seven classrooms in four different school districts (Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Pellston, and Alanson) and serve approximately 100 preschoolers. In 2022, 275 children participated in “Read to Me” with a distribution of 1,377 books. The 2022 Book Drive distributed 1,558 books to individual children.
The Diaper Pantry Project provides diapers to families in need. The pantry is located in the Manna Food Pantry building (8791 McBride Park Court, Harbor Springs, MI 49740) and diapers are available for pick up on the 1st and 3rd Friday from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. In 2022, 310 packages of diapers for infants and toddlers were dispensed.
When a cancer diagnosis comes to a child, in a lot of ways, childhood stops. Vacations, family time, crafts, and campfires are replaced with doctor visits, chemo, isolation and restrictions. With children’s safety and medical needs forefront, Camp Quality Michigan breaks down those barriers for children and families and restores the childhood experience. Surrounded by new friends that can relate, loving volunteers who care, and loads of fun experiences, Camp Quality campers find joy, courage and renewed hope for the future. They are free to be themselves . . . free to be kids again.
Foster Care Kits
The goal of the Foster Care Project is to provide basic needs to a child who is removed from his/her home by the Department of Health & Human Services (DHSS) for a variety of tragic reasons. Hopefully, having a backpack, new clothes, stuffed animal (younger children), handmade fleece blanket, book, journal material (older children), earbuds (older children) and a toiletry kit helps the child achieve a sense of security in this difficult time in his/her life. A small piece of luggage was added in 2020 to avoid having the child place their belongings in a trash bag. The Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan is now providing a birthday card with an enclosed gift card on the birthday of each child who remains in the Foster Care System. In 2022, 33 children received support.
Christmas Parties for Special Needs Children (Char-Em)
Christmas parties are conducted for select classrooms of special needs children in Charlevoix and Emmet (Char-Em) counties.
Each spring, ten $3,000 college scholarships are available to area graduating high school seniors. Selection is based on applications submitted by the students and reviewed by our Scholarship Committee.
Wolverine Outreach Project
The Wolverine Outreach project serves the needs of the students in the Wolverine School District. The Christ Child Project Chair contacts the local school district quarterly to assess their needs and provides any items identified by the staff. This may include shopping, delivery of items and/or provision of funds. In 2022, 254 children were served.
The Wolverine School District maintains a clothing closet for students. This closet is stocked by the chairperson with support by Christ Child volunteers and includes jeans, sweatshirts, coats, shoes, shirts, socks, and basic toiletries.
Christ Child Society is also funding a music program conducted by two retired Wolverine staff members and has provided string instruments, sheet music and shirts for the student musicians.
Christ Child Society provides support of a significant number of special requests each year.
You can be a part of this rewarding program by Joining Us in the Christ Child Society of Northern Michigan or by donating for the supplies for our Shower of Love.