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CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY OF PITTSBURGH
SEPTEMBER 19, 2019
The meeting began with a presentation on Backpack for Hunger. Joyce Orr introduced the speaker, Lisa Boden. Mrs. Boden noted that, although we may not realize it, hunger can be an issue where we live. One in six children in Western Pennsylvania do not know where their next meal is coming from or if they will have a next meal. There are so many folks who have very little. A counselor at Kerr Elementary reported that a child in school asked to take something home for a brother who had not eaten for a while. That spurred the parents in the shool to begin the program. The Backpack for Hunger Program now serves six schools in the areas of Sharpsburg, Blawnox, Indiana Township, O’Hara Township, Aspinwall and Fox Chapel. It provides weekend care bags of nutritious food. Every other week Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church provides space to pack bags. Approximately 20 individuals assist every time. Eight hundred bags are provided every month, both winter and summer. The program operates year round. They work to obtain both food and monetary donations. The food must be non-perishable. They try to provide healthy but also appealing food. They provide two lunches and two breakfasts. They also provide some special diet bags which include gluten free, sugar free, and dairy free items.
They are working on adding a pre-school program. They work with guidance counselors and school nurses. The packages are double bagged so that other children cannot see what is in the bags. The community has been very supportive with food and monetary donations. Mrs. Boden is available to pick up food donations.
Packings are held every other Monday at 11:30 a.m. They also have some evening packings. Please check the website for those dates.
President Janet Mascaro opened the meeting at 1:00 p.m. with recitation of the Christ Child prayer. The first order of business was the installation of new member, Maria Kitay.
Minutes from the June 20, 2019 meeting were read by Suzette Venturini. The minutes were approved as read.
The treasurer’s report was given by Diane Donovan. Copies were provided to all in attendance. Mrs. Mascaro reported that the total in the money market
account is approximately $33,000. The budget will be based on this figure.
Corresponding secretary Mary Ann Gonot presented cards and letters from the following: Volunteers of America, the family of Ed Daughterty, and the Mellon Library in memory of Mr. Delserone.
Publicity chair Carole Gilardi reported that she is unsure if we are getting much publicity from church bulletins for our Red Wagon event. There is an individual at the Diocese who is supportive of our efforts and she has put Mrs. Gilardi in touch with the individual who sends out information to all parishes. However, she is not sure that our efforts are paying off. Mrs. Gilardi asked for ideas as to how we can reverse this trend. Judy Kern asked if each member could take a letter to their parishes, as the personal touch is always valuable. Mrs. Mascaro suggested a more formal letter and the use of more social media. Ellen O’Brien reported that we are not getting any traction with facebook. However, we have more donations for the Red Wagon, even though we have fewer attendees. Mrs. Mascaro noted that we will work on e-mails, social media and formal letters. Mrs. Gilardi is willing to continue as Publicity chair.
Molly Kelley reported on Angel’s Closet. The grand opening will be on, Thursday, October 17, 2019, from 1l:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The closet will be open on four Thursdays and two Saturdays. Mrs. Kelly passed out the schedule for the closet: Thursday, October 24, noon to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, November 2, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Saturday, November 9, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 14, noon to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday, November 21, noon to 5:00 p.m.
Mrs. Kelley also reported on Camp Aim. One hundred fifty children were served. The money we donated was used to buy a Chromebook. The Christ Child Society did not do much as a committee. Camp Aim had so many counselors that they did not need us.
Membership chair, Mary McCormick, reported that several individuals did not respond to membership requests. She will remove the names of those not likely to return as members. They are: Margie DiDomenico, Dottie Talarico (as she is moving out of town), and Mary Ann McDermott. Mrs. McCormick indicated that she would like to step down as membership chair.
Mrs. Mascaro indicated that the chairmanships of My Stuff Bags (which will likely become Backpacks for Hunger) and Membership are open.
Mrs. Kern reported that information is needed for the newsletter which will be coming out on October 7.
Charlotte Collins reported that another layette packing is not needed at this time.
In Joanne Hermann’s absence, Mrs. Delserone reported that All of Us Care is spending $100 a day for food. Meals for 50 children are $2.00 each. We made a $600 donation to that program. We are not able to support all meals. We donate $1,500 per year. They are now buying food and preparing it there rather than using a vendor.
Mrs. Mascaro reported that new members can contact her or Pam Diulus for mentoring.
Mrs. Mascaro noted that My Stuff Bags is no longer a program of Christ Child, although there are still some items of clothing remaining at the Center. It will likely be replaced by Backpack for Hunger.
Information on the proposed budget was presented to the membership. The budget was approved.
Mrs. Mascaro reported that National is trying to determine ways to assist chapters and to be more active in their lives. Mrs. Mascaro suggested that we invite our national liaison to the Red Wagon as a possible speaker.
It was suggested that Mrs. O’Brien be named as our liaison with the National office. Mrs. O’Brien will attend the national convention from September 27-28 and will discuss our Book Nook. Mrs. Gilardi donated some books for children. Mrs. Mascaro contacted Half Price Books for a donation of 250 books. Last year they made a donation to us of 300-400 books. We prefer books geared to smaller children.
Mrs. Mascaro reiterated that we need a Membership chair. Joyce Orr and Gerri Orr will chair Backpack for Hunger. All members are in agreement that we should do something for this program, especially something more active than just making a monetary donation. Joyce Orr would like to disuss how we are going to implement this at a board meeting.
Co-chairs for the Red Wagon will be Mrs. Diulus and Mrs. Venturini. Planning will begin at the November meeting when a sign-up sheet for committees will be circulated.
The next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, November 21, 2019.
Prayer requests were as follows; Patti Smith expressed thanks for prayers
for her son who has been driving since July. Other requests for prayers were for Mary Ann McDermott, Ellen O’Brien’s 10th great niece who was just born, Molly Kelley for a friend, Karen Kelley, and Judy Kern.
The meeting adjourned at 2:10 p.m.
CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY OF PITTSBURGH
JUNE 20, 2019
The meeting was opened by President Janet Mascaro with recitation of the Christ Child prayer.
Minutes from the previous meeting were read by Suzette Venturini. Minutes were approved as read.
The Treasurer’s report was given by Diane Donovan. She provided copies to all in attendance.
Camp Aim will take place from June 10 to July 19. Prom is mid-July.
Charlotte Collins reported that there are 49 layettes on hand. These will be used up. They will probably do a packing in September. An e-mail will be sent out notifying members. Mrs. Collins took layettes to Genesis. They are asking for sleepers. We have lots of knitted blankets and booties.
Mrs. Mascaro reported that not all dues are in.
My Stuff Bags
There was no activity with My Stuff Bags
All of Us Care
As Joanne Hermann was not in attendance, there was no report on All of Us Care.
Mrs. Mascaro would like to see us do more social media. Carole Gilardi reported that she would possibly like to step down from chairing this committee.
Two new members were installed: Dolores Butch and Phyllis Palumbo.
Judy Kern reported that a new directory will be coming out next year in June when we have new officers. Information on new members will be sent out to update the books and to be put into the newsletter. Due date for the next newsletter is July 8.
A thank you note was received from Mary Jo Kelly for our donation of $100 to Central Catholic’s scholarship fund in remembrance of her husband, Dick Kelly.
Mary Ann Gonot sent thank you’s to the donors of Red Wagon and to donors in remembrance of Dick Kelly.
Diane Donovan reported on the income and expenses from the Red Wagon. Next year’s Red Wagon will take place on April 25, 2020, two weeks after Easter. Mrs. Mascaro suggested that we do not need too many volunteers, considering the cost to feed them. Three to four should suffice. She will look into getting more aprons for new members and volunteers. We will need a chair for next year’s Red Wagon.
Mrs. Mascaro discussed the social guidelines which were brought up at the Board meeting prior to this meeting. They are as follows: for a member’s birthday, the corresponding secretary will send a birthday card; for a member’s death, flowers or a memorial donation of $100; for a death in member’s immediate family (son, daughter, mother, father), a memorial donation of $50 will be sent; for the death of a former member, a memorial donation of $50 will be sent. Flowers will be ordered either by the President or by Charlotte Collins who volunteered to do so. Memorial donations will be sent by the treasurer.
Upcoming meetings will take place as follows:
September 19, 2019 Lunch provided by Charlotte Collins
November 21, 2019 Lunch provided by Janet Mascaro and Diane Donovan
December 9, 2019 Christmas lunch at Scoglio’s
February 20, 2020 Lunch provided by Joyce Orr and Gerri Orr
March 19, 2020 Lunch provided by Molly Kelley and Carole Gilardi
May, 2020 Installation lunch for new officers
Information from National
Mrs. Mascaro read questions to the membership provided by National. How could a chapter liaison person assist your chapter, if needed? What could National do to be more supportive or available to your chapter? What do you see as the role of National CCS? Who on your board is a good contact person for the national liaison person? Some additional questions: Should we consider inviting a representative to the Red Wagon? Would they be willing to come here? There are resources on their website giving ideas for recruitment. Mrs. Mascaro reported that the National Convention will take place from September 27-28, 2019. The Christ Child Society will pay for two members to attend. Deadline for registration is August 6.
Mrs. Mascaro reported that she and Mrs. Donovan will prepare a budget in July.
Joyce Orr inquired as to whether we would be interested in providing school lunches during the summer. It was suggested that she gather more information about this. We could potentially do this for next year.
A moment of silence was held and a Hail Mary was prayed for our member, Pat Maida, who recently passed on. Prayers were also requested for Mary Ann McDermott and Cheryl George.
The meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY OF PITTSBURGH
MARCH 21, 2019
President Janet Mascaro opened the meeting with recitation of the Christ Child prayer.
Minutes from the previous meeting were read by Suzette Venturini.
Diane Donovan read the financial report and provided copies to all in attendance.
The CCD of All Saints in Etna donated diapers and other items for the layettes. Layettes were provided to the following:
15 to PA PCUC
30 to Magee-Women’s Hospital
24 to West Penn Hospital
8 to Genesis. Also 24 blankets, 24 bottles and 30 sleepers. In March, 16 layettes and 22 dozen diapers were delivered.
Forbes Maternity declined layettes.
Marian Flowers will take 10-15 layettes to Mary Catherine Scanlon. Marian has received donations of quilts from a group of friends who knit. Christ Child will pay for their yarn.
The membership committee reported that we have a new member, Phyllis Palumbo. Mary McCormick, membership chairperson, is away at the present time and will be returning in April. Janet Mascaro suggested encouraging friends to join.
My Stuff Bags
Dottie Talarico reported that St. Bonaventure will include us on their Angel Tree. She will take some items such as toiletries and toys to Genesis. She requested that we let her know if we are aware of a family in need. She noted that it is becoming more difficult to deliver items to organizations. Pat Schimmel suggested contacting social workers at our respective parishes for clothing, books, and toiletries.
All of Us Care
Joanne Herrmann reported that they are engaging high school students as volunteers. They are also hiring a teacher. We will be doing an Easter project for them, and Joanne asked for suggestions.
Carole Gilardi prepared press releases to be given to members’ respective parishes regarding the Red Wagon Fare coming up on April 27, 2019 at the Pittsburgh Field Club. She also sent the press release to the person at the Diocese who is responsible for notifying all parishes.
The Christ Child Society made a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of Joyce Orr’s mother. Joyce thanked the members.
We will have 21 door prizes, the same as last year, and 7 purses. We can bring donations of money, bottles of cheer, and purses to the meeting. We have $2,100 in monetary donations to date. Diane Donovan made a request to spread the word about our organization so that we can increase membership. She noted that we are putting out more money than we are taking in – at this time, we are not maintaining a balanced budget. Janet Mascaro indicated that we will be looking at that this coming year. We have a monthly rental expense of $500 at All Saints.
We will not be able to set up for the Red Wagon the day before, however, we can drop off items on Friday between 1:00 and 2:00 and leave them in the ballroom.
Mary Jo Kelly will contact Barbara Fredette’s family to see if they want to set up a table to sell her photographic cards. We will have two other vendors – they will give us 15% of their proceeds.
The Red Wagon program will be smaller this year – a 4-sided bi-fold.
We hope to have everything set up by 10:30 on the day of the event. There will be signage at the credit card table of the prices of tickets for each of the venues. Mrs. O’Brien suggested having specific ideas of duties for those coming to assist with set up.
Pat Schimmel and Ellen O’Brien will invite their pastors.
Agenda for the day will be as follows:
Welcome by President Janet Mascaro
Lunch at 12:00
Presentation of Ministries
On each table, there will be 20 x your money envelopes
Game – What’s in your purse?”
There will be a 50/50 drawing, baskets of cheer, auction baskets, a grand prize raffle, and a silent auction. Currently, we have 21 baskets. Judy Kern expects to make up three baskets from vendor donations. She asks that we provide her with a list of items in our baskets by April 15.
Favors will be seed packets with the saying, ‘Cultivate a brighter future’.
The National Christ Child Society would like to have pictures of children involved in events. We now have forms for adults and children if their pictures are published. Children must have the ok of the parents.
For Founder’s Day, Mrs. Mascaro will send to National pictures from our meeting today. National is interested in local news. They would like all chapters to have a link to National on their websites. We currently have a link on our site.
Prayers were requested for Dominic, Richard, Brett, Karen and Gene.
Mrs. Mascaro expressed thanks to Marian, Molly and Molly’s husband for providing lunch.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 20, 2019. Suzette Venturini and Dottie Talarico are the hostesses. The Board meeting will take place at 10:00 a.m. prior to the general meeting.
CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY OF PITTSBURGH
DECEMBER 4, 2018
The meeting opened with recitation of the Christ Child prayer led by President Janet Mascaro.
Suzette Venturini read the minutes from the last meeting.
In the absence of Diane Donovan, Janet Mascaro read the financials. A check was received for $300 from a group in Ohio via the United Way.
Molly Kelly reported that 343 coats were distributed at the Angel’s Closet this year. This is our best year since moving to the new location at All Saints. Mrs. Kelly read a note which was sent from Fr. Frank Almade with which he included an old directory from the Christ Child Society.
Judy Kern noted that the deadline for the January newletter is January 4.
Dottie Talarico is receiving donations from St. Bonaventure and gave them a list of items we can use for Conroy.
Joanne Herrmann reported that All of Us Care can use volunteers, especially over the holidays. The address is 1650 Main Street, Sharpsburg. The after school program runs from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. They can use help with paperwork.
Mrs. Mascaro indicated that we distributed books at the Angel’s Closet. She completed a report for National and included pictures of children reading. Ellen O’Brien donated bookmarks.
Pam Diulus will put together a meeting for new members.
The Red Wagon Fare will take place on April 27, 2019. Invitations will be sent in March. Cost is the same as last year. Door prizes are needed with a value of at least $10.00. Mrs. Kern asked that all door prize donations be received prior to the March meeting. We will have 6-7 purses. In terms of volunteers, we do not yet know if Mrs. Talarico’s grandchildren can assist. Gerri Orr, Joyce Orr and Suzette Venturini are exploring options for securing volunteers. Mrs. Diulus has offered to chair the Silent Auction. Mrs. Kern would like to have the names of all members who will be doing a basket.
Mrs. Mascaro asked members to log hours of volunteer time. This can include driving to and from and attending meetings. Hours should include January 2018 to December 31, 2018. Mrs. Mascaro will include this in a report to National.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 21, 2019.
CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY OF PITTSBURGH
SEPTEMBER 19, 2018
President Janet Mascaro called the meeting to order. She thanked Charlotte Collins, Laura Merzlak and Pat Schimmel for providing today’s lunch.
The Christ Child prayer was recited by the membership.
Suzette Venturini read the minutes from the June 19, 2018 meeting. The minutes were approved as read.
Diane Donovan gave the financial report. The beginning balance as of August 2018 was $16,237.88. Disbursements were $4,512.13. There were no deposits. The ending balance as of August 2018 is $10,725.75. The new budget for fiscal year July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 was distributed to the members, and they were asked to review it. Mrs. Mascaro noted that she and Mrs. Donovan removed some line items that have not been used for several years. This year monies will not be deposited in the month of October due to the Red Wagon Fare being moved to early next year. If for any reason our chapter would fold, any large amounts of money would go to the National Christ Child Society.
Mary Ann Gonot read a thank you note from Camp Aim for our $1,000 donation. Molly Kelly passed around thank you notes from the children at Camp Aim. She also thanked the members who attended the prom, as she was not able to attend. She reported that there were 180 children and staff to be fed.
Mrs. Kelly reported that Angel’s Closet will open this year on October 11. The various agencies have been notified. She passed out schedules to the committee members. The hours will be noon to 5:00 p.m. on the following weekdays: October 11, October 18, November 1 and November 8. The Closet will be open on two Saturdays, October 27 and November 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. November 17 will be the last day of the Closet. You must have clearances to work.
Judy Kern reported on the newsletter. The last one was in July and the next one will be in October. The due date for inclusion of items in the October newsletter is October 5. The next newsletter will most likely come by e-mail unless you have requested it by regular mail.
Mrs. Kern noted that the last directory was done on June 17. The next one will be prepared in September 2019. Mrs. Mascaro raised the question of whether the directory should be done in line with the election of new officers. Mrs. Kern suggested that we keep the directory as is. If there are any changes for next year, those can be made.
Charlotte Collins reported on layettes. Twenty bags were packed on August 29. Mrs. Collins delivered sixteen bags to Genesis in August, Pam Diulus and Theresa Magnotta delivered 25 to Mercy in August, Marian Flowers delivered 10 to PCUC (People Concerned for the Unborn Child), and Mrs. Mascaro delivered some to the South Hills Interfaith Ministry (SHIM). It was noted that Mercy can use more. Mrs. Diulus will contact Magee, Mercy and West Penn in a few months to ascertain their needs. We have received thank you letters from Genesis and PCUC.
There were no updates with regard to membership. New members Gerry Orr and Dolores Butch were in attendance today.
My Stuff Bags were delivered to Genesis and to SHIM. Mrs. Mascaro had received an e-mail from SHIM and she packed up two bags for them to give to little girls. She also packed up some boys’ items. We are considering making My Stuff Bags more personalized.
For Christmas, we will be helping Conroy School on the North Side which serves disadvantaged children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
With regard to publicity, Carole Gilardi reported that many places no longer provide publicity for non-profits. She is asking members for suggestions and has passed around a sheet for listing ideas. She noted that this would give us name recognition but not necessarily provide us with more attendees at the Red Wagon.
Regarding new member mentoring, Mrs. Diulus has sent out an e-mail to new members. Do we have a list of committees for which new members can sign up? Mrs. Diulus will continue to work with new members. She is gathering information on our history and our ministries.
Mrs. Venturini provided some information to Mrs. Mascaro about social guidelines for when a member or a relative of a member dies, goes into the hospital, etc. We sent Dottie Tallarico a peace plant when her husband recently passed on.
Flinging into Spring is our theme for the next Red Wagon Fare. Save the Date cards will be sent out when Ellen O’Brien returns in approximately one week, at the beginning of October. Invitations will be sent out earlier than usual rather than sending out more Save the Date cards. Mrs. O’Brien pulled up a picture of the Save the Date cards on her i-pad to show the members.
At this point, there is no one to chair the Silent Auction. It was noted that we may receive some highend donations which can be used for the Silent Auction.
We want to have classy door prizes for the Red Wagon. Items should be new and in a box. Items such as Vera Bradley and picture frames are good choices; all items should be at least $10.00 and up. We currently have five items; last year we had 21 items.
Regarding purses, we have three which we have purchased. Members can donate gift cards to put into the purses if they so choose.
There will be a Red Wagon meeting in November.
The main dish at the Red Wagon will be chicken Salerno.
The value of baskets should be at least $100.00. It was suggested that themes for baskets can be googled. Lottery trees seem to be popular, and we do not usually have too many. Gift certificates are also popular.
Mrs. Mascaro thanked Mrs. Tallarico for her efforts regarding the website. The man originally contracted never did anything with regard to it. It seems that he has gone out of business. Mrs. Mascaro called him and received a return call. She indicated that he owes us $250.00. He indicated that he would give the information to his accountant. Mrs. Donovan’s daughter’s boyfriend has done a website for us – CCS of Pgh. org. It includes our mission, history, all newsletters, officers, donation and membership forms, and an upcoming calendar. He has charged $500.00. It will cost $10.00 per month to host and update. It can be accessed from phones and i-pads. Please let Mrs. Mascaro know of anything we think should be included on it.
Mrs. O’Brien will attend the Convention and will take layettes with her. These are presented as gifts at the end of Mass and stay in the host city to be distributed there.
In conjunction with Angel’s Closet, we will be using half-price books instead of utilizing the Scholastic Book Purchasing Program. We have received approximately 500 books free of charge.
There is a new trac phone which is in Mrs. Kelly’s name. The number is on the website. Anyone trying to contact us must answer a math question or else they will get hundreds of spams.
The membership voted on the budget and it was passed. Mrs. Mascaro asked for hostesses for March and June of next year.
Mrs. Kelly reminded the members to bring their bottles of cheer for the Red Wagon.
Marian Flowers noted that the Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church from which we received a $1,500 donation is holding a Harvest Fare on September 28 and 29. Address is Field Club and Fox Chapel Roads.
Family Hospice at 50 Moffett Street, Upper St. Clair, is holding a treasure sale on Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7.
Gerri Orr gave an update on Joyce Orr. She is being released from the hospital today. She will need to take IV antibiotics for ten days. She had trouble with a maintenance medicine she is being given and got an infection in the port. She will be homebound for a while.
Prayers were requested for Joyce Orr, Mary Ann McDermott, Pat Maida, Ellen O’Brien’s brother, Bill Hetherington. Members prayed for these individuals.
The meeting adjourned at 1:32 p.m.