The Layette program is an integral part of the National Christ Child Society. It is the common bond between all 40 chapters of Christ Child, a service for the needy that founder Mary Virginia Merrick began in 1912 in Washington D.C. and that is continued today in every chapter across the country.
One morning and one evening each month members meet at the Layette House to open new merchandise and assemble layettes valued at $40.00. Each layette contains a sleep sack, body suits, cap, socks, hooded towel, washcloths, the Christ Child Prayer and the Christ Child Society Mission Statement. Often members of the Society or other generous donors provide handmade caps, blankets, booties, or bibs. The addition of this handmade item makes the layette just that more special.
The Detroit chapter has seen the program grow from delivering eighty layettes a month in early 2000, to dispensing more than 2,000 layettes in 2015 to over 20 agencies in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne County. The program has been able to grow partly through the initiative of the 2004 CCS Board, which decided to take the program out of the Christ Child House basement and purchase a separate building for it on Crooks Road in Troy. Having the Layette House provided a more efficient process for assembly and distribution of the layettes.
Due to Michigan’s economic situation, agency requests have dramatically increased over the years. Agencies that receive our layettes are registered with the state of Michigan.
Christ Child members volunteer at the Layette House twice a month so that agencies can pick up layettes.
After 100 years of service in the Detroit area, the layette program remains strong and continues to meet the needs of disadvantaged new mothers just as Mary Virginia Merrick had envisioned.