More than 400 Annapolis-area children will receive bags of wrapped presents, including winter coats and pajamas, next month from a local charity celebrating its 100th anniversary serving the community.
To mark its centennial, The Christ Child Society of Annapolis, whose mission is to serve the area’s children, has expanded its charity outreach programs, including the Christmas drive. In early December, hundreds of children from families facing financial difficulties will receive a large bag of warm clothes, toys, and books donated by Annapolis families or individuals and distributed by the non-profit group.
The project is aimed at meeting the needs of impoverished children by providing more than just toys at Christmastime. Donors provide winter clothes, socks and underwear, coats, pajamas, hat and gloves, toiletries, books as well as toys for children in the county. The program started in 1943 and has expanded over the eight decades it has been run by the volunteer organization.
“The motto of Christ Child is ‘find a need and fill it,’” said Nancy Long, president of the Annapolis chapter. “It’s an honor to work with so many generous women to meet the needs of the children in our community.”
The Christ Child Society is a volunteer group of 25 Annapolis-area women, founded in 1923, and is part of a national organization with 45 chapters. In addition to the Christmas program, the local Christ Child Society donates more than 150 layettes to new mothers and babies in the county and provides nearly 900 books to local middle schools. The layette program includes gifts of blankets, onesies, diapers, clothes, and books to infants at the hospital. As part of the anniversary celebration, the group added the book donation program to its outreach.
For the annual Christmas project, the group collects donations from more than 400 families who shop for children in need, identified through the Anne Arundel County Health Department. The donations are wrapped and dropped off in a large bag with the child’s name on it in early December. Volunteers from the Christ Child Society load the bags and drive them to Health Department offices, where they are distributed to families by healthcare workers.
Each year, nurses at the Anne Arundel County Health Department interview parents who wish to participate in the program. They identify the needs, requests and sizes for the children and provide the Christ Child Society with a wish list. The non-profit organization works with the health department to match children in the program to families and individuals in the community who have offered support.