February 1, 2024 // Diocese

Christ Child Society Kicks Off 10th Baby Bottle Campaign

By Michelle Castleman

As thousands gathered to march for life in our nation’s capital last month, members of the Christ Child Society of Fort Wayne were busy preparing to distribute approximately 5,400 empty baby bottles to the congregations of 28 parishes in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. This year marks the organization’s 10th annual Baby Bottle campaign, which raises money for at-risk children in the Fort Wayne and surrounding areas. The Christ Child Society of Fort Wayne has high hopes to surpass last years’ total of nearly $70,000.

The Christ Child Society is a philanthropic organization dedicated to child welfare. Its mission is to express the love of Christ by serving children and youths, regardless of race or creed, to honor the childhood of Christ. The annual Baby Bottle campaign, in which Catholics from across the diocese generously fill the provided bottles with bills and loose change, is the lifeline to the ongoing, year-round efforts of the nearly 200 members of the Fort Wayne chapter.

Michelle Castleman
Bishop Rhoades has filled his baby bottle with loose change for the Christ Child Society, have you?

The signature program of Christ Child is to provide local agencies and hospitals with layettes for babies in critical need. These newborn bundles contain diapers, blankets, clothing, and toiletries. The pocket change and bills donated also fund items donated for the “baby stores” of the Women’s Care Center Crib Clubs, where expectant mothers can pick out items during and after their pregnancies. Through partnerships with local schools and other service agencies, the society also distributes free backpacks full of educational supplies at back-to-school time and hundreds of new coats, hats, and gloves during the cold winter months. Christ Child Society volunteers also serve the community through tutoring services and a sewing committee that partners with homeless facilities.

Filled bottles from the Baby Bottle campaign will be collected and counted the weekend of February 10-11.

Geri Boyden, President of the Christ Child Society of Fort Wayne, said, “Very simply, the goal of the Christ Child Society is to find a need and fill it.” Checks and online contributions are also welcome to assist the organization in meeting these goals. To learn more or make a donation, go to christchildsocietyfw.org

The Baby Bottle campaign was the brainchild of the family of Amy Dimberio Urban, who brought the program to Fort Wayne in 2014.

“It was my mom’s idea,” Urban told Today’s Catholic in 2019. “At the time, we were looking for creative ways to raise money, and my mom went to Mass in Chicago with my brother, and they passed out baby bottles.” Urban, who has been a member since 2004 and currently presides as the chapter’s Vice President of Communications, took it to Bishop Rhoades, spiritual adviser of the society, and he was supportive of the idea.

Ten years later, Bishop Rhoades continues to embrace the hard work of the CCSFW by faithfully filling his baby bottle.

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