“Let no day pass without an act of humanity.”

Those were the simple, powerful words of Christ Child Society founder Mary Virginia Merrick.

Her charge remains timely and is an important opportunity to let our own action and attitude improve the lives of those right here at home. 

It can be difficult to focus on the good in the world when getting caught up in cynicism and negativity in the news. Despite the inundation of troubling headlines, we at the Christ Child Society of Washington, D.C., see the positive difference people are making close to home.

The Society’s mission is simple: We work to meet the material, educational and emotional needs of children in the Washington, D.C. area. The foundation of our society is our dedicated members, who lend their time, talent and treasure to carry out our mission and vision. We know how generous our community can be, which is why we’re asking you to join us in giving back this month.

Make a Difference Day is Saturday, Oct. 28, and this year, the society is focusing our volunteer efforts on literacy. In the theme of “Read to Me,” we are collecting new children’s board books to distribute in our layettes for newborns and to our early literacy program at the Merrick Center in Washington. With your help, we hope to surpass our goal of collecting and donating hundreds of books to children in our community. 

According to the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLF), one in six children who do not read at their age level by the end of third grade will not graduate from high school. This disproportionately affects low-income families. CLF reports that 61 percent of low-income households have no children’s books at home.

Participating in Making a Difference Day 2017 is now easier than ever. In addition to placing book donation bins at local churches, the Society, has established an Amazon Wish List. Anyone interested in giving back to the community is able to donate a book with just a few clicks on a smartphone, tablet or computer. The book will be delivered directly to our headquarters.

If you’d rather drop-off a new board book, you can visit us at:

  • Christ Child Society Opportunity Shop, 1427 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Christ Child Society Office, 5101 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Suite 304, Washington, D.C.

Help us give kids in the D.C. community a brighter future on Make a Difference Day!

To learn about other ways to serve our community and children in need through the Society, visit our website.

(Barlow serves as the president of the Christ Child Society chapter in Washington.)