About CCS

The Christ Child Society has a long and revered history both nationally and in the Detroit area.

The Christ Child Society of Detroit (CCSD) was founded in 1912 by a small group of women (led by Mary Catherine Brady), who followed the vision of Mary Virginia Merrick, our national founder, by dedicating themselves to meeting the material, educational, emotional and spiritual needs of poor and disadvantaged children in the Detroit and outstate areas.

Under the leadership of Mary Catherine Brady, the founders’ earliest mission was to assemble and distribute layettes — small bundles of baby clothes and supplies to needy mothers. Times change and CCSD’s ervices have evolved correspondingly, but our mission has remained the same — we are singularly dedicated to improving the well being of disadvantaged and at-risk children in the greater Metropolitan Detroit and outstate areas.

Today, CCSD boasts a membership in excess of 500 caring and proactive members. As proud and appreciative as we are of our membership, given the reality of current-day demands for our services, CCSD most assuredly needs your help if we are to continue to meet our historical mission of charitable service to the children in need.

Please consider volunteering your time or donating to CCSD. Remember the Christ Child Prayer, “Nothing is ever too much to do for a child.”

Out of diversity often comes good.  Such was the case many years ago of a young girl in the Washington DC area.  Her name as Mary Virginia Merrick, the foundress of the National Christ Child Society.  A tragic fall from a tree eventually left her paralyzed.  As a young woman, she heard of a mother-to-be who was in need of help and delivered a handmade layette to her baby at Christmastime.  The note on the package was simply singed “from the Christ Child.”

The Christ Child Society began in Washington D.C. in 1887 when Mary Virginia gathered a group together to make layettes for newborn babies in need.  Her dedication and enthusiasm eventually led to the establishment of settlement houses, day camps, medical clinics and children’s hospitals.  Inspired by the faith and vision of Mary Virginia Merrick, people in cities across the United States established local chapters during her lifetime and after her death in 1955.  Unique projects were developed by chapters to serve the needs of underprivileged children in their communities.  Today there are 40 Christ Child Chapters with nearly 7,000 members.  Chapter service projects meet the goal of “Challenging Poverty: One Child at a Time.” In memory of Mary Virginia Merrick, all chapters provide layettes to needy babies.

The National Christ Child Society, organized in 1916, is a federation of chapters.  The National Society preserves the founding spirit of the Society, promotes the establishment of new chapters, and awards grants annually from the Merrick Scholars Fund to Catholic University graduate studies in the field of social work. The National Board advises chapters and calls attention to the unmet needs of children.  The National office is located in Bethesda, MD, and its board members are elected at a biennial convention held in various cities in the United States.


Mission Statement for Christ Child Society of Detroit

The Christ Child Society is a non-profit organization of members dedicated to serving children in need, for the love of the Christ Child.


National Christ Child Society Objective

The charitable objective of the national organization shall be to serve the needs of children at risk; by promoting effective volunteerism through education, service and leadership development; by developing and chartering Chapters; by maintaining standards and guidelines for the Chapters; by coordinating the work of the Chapters through unified programs; and by promoting the purpose and activities of this organization nationwide.

“Nothing is ever too much to do for a child.”

-Mary Virginia Merrick