Christ Child Society one of four ‘families’ for new circle president Kathy Stomberg

Kathy Stomberg, a member of St. Anthony Parish in Bartonville, is the new president of the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois, which supplies layettes to babies and families in need through 14 area hospitals. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Kathy Stomberg doesn’t sew, but she has managed to stay busy since joining the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois four years ago. She must have done something right — she has been elected to serve as the organization’s president for the next two years.

The word “cheerleader” doesn’t appear in the job description, but she’s got that covered, too.

“This is just a beautiful service to the babies and their families that are in need,” Stomberg said about the Christ Child’s mission “to service children in need, for love of the Christ Child.”

Standing in the workroom of the Peoria Circle of the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois, Kathy Stomberg, the new president, holds up a “sleep sack” that is included in the layettes given to 14 hospitals in central Illinois. The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems

In central Illinois, that means providing layettes to 14 hospitals. The hospital staff distributes them to families who might not have the basic supplies that would help them to welcome their baby home.

“It shows the families that someone cares. It really does,” Stomberg said.

Each layette includes diapers, a baby blanket and receiving blankets, a “sleep sack,” onesies, gowns, sleepers, hats, socks or booties, washcloths, burp cloths, baby wipes, baby wash and bottles, along with a prayer card for the parents. There are layettes for girls and boys, as well as some in neutral colors.

There is a growing need for clothing and baby supplies for preemies, Stomberg added, so layettes are assembled for them, too.

In addition to putting together layettes, those who don’t sew can help to sort gowns, sleepers and items donated through parish drives, and make cards.


“It’s a lot of fun, just the camaraderie of everyone getting together,” Stomberg told The Catholic Post. “When we arrive, everyone gets busy right away, even though we have a meeting. We have to pull them from their jobs to get them going on the meeting.”

She said she has enjoyed making new friends with these “wonderful, God-filled ladies” and the “special family feeling” that develops.

“I think at our meetings the Holy Spirit is present,” Stomberg said. “They work almost miracles to get so much done in such a short time and everybody seems so enthused about doing everything.”

There are about 60 members in the Central Illinois chapter, which has circles in Bloomington, Peoria and Pontiac.


The Christ Child Society is just one of four “families” that keep Stomberg busy.

The Peoria native has been married to Jim Stomberg for 48 years. Both are retired — Kathy from her job as a head cook at Woodruff High School in Peoria, and Jim from the Air National Guard and office work for a contracting firm. They are the parents of four daughters and one son, and the grandparents of seven, ranging in age from 19 months to college age.

Their “parish family” is St. Anthony in Bartonville, where they have sung in the choir for about 16 years and lead Bible studies in the fall and during Lent. They also help to bring this family together as chairs for the annual parish picnic.

Oh, and Kathy is the “jewelry lady” for “Tony’s Garage Sale,” held twice a year.

“Somebody said to us, ‘Do you know how to say ‘no’? I said, ‘No!’ It’s a gift that God has given us that we can help,” Stomberg explained. “If nobody volunteers then you don’t have all these wonderful events.”

She said St. Anthony is fortunate to have a lot of wonderful people step up.

The Stombergs also count the friends they have made in Cursillo as “family.”

“We’re lucky to have so many wonderful things to do,” Kathy said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information about the Christ Child Society, call (309) 677-7697.

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