Pandemic didn’t stop the service or the mission of the Christ Child Society

Carol Romanowski (center), the new president of the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois, is flanked by the members who were recognized for their service to the organization during the annual meeting on May 19. They include (from left) Pam Tomlianovich; Elaine Mills; Therese Peck, immediate past president; and Ingrid Ruscheinski. Not present was Pat Grove. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

While the pandemic made it more difficult to meet in person, it didn’t stop the members of the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois from helping families in need who chose life for their child.

“Our members kept making quilts at home and sewing and knitting and crocheting, so we have lots of hats. One of our members even did 50 quilts. They were very productive,” said newly installed president Carol Romanowski.

In addition to the Peoria circle, those in Pontiac and Bloomington-El Paso kept sewing, she said. “We have been fortunate in that respect.”

The Christ Child Society has a workshop in the lower level of the Family Resources Center in Peoria where members make receiving blankets, burp cloths and other baby items that go into layettes. Like all diocesan buildings, the center was closed for much of last year due to COVID-19, but a limited number of Christ Child Society members were allowed back into the workshop late last fall.

Those who are comfortable returning were able to resume work on the first Wednesday and third Monday of the month at the Family Resources Center in early March. They start work at 12:30 p.m.

Romanowski, a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Peoria, said the 15-17 hospitals, clinics, and crisis pregnancy centers they serve stopped requesting layettes early in the pandemic, but they are starting to call again. Recently the Christ Child Society has been in contact with the Guardian Angel Outreach for Mothers in Streator and has started to provide a few layettes for them as needed.

The Christ Child Society of Central Illinois also reached out to the Women’s Care Center in Peoria after an intentionally set fire shuttered that facility on May 3. With many donations made already, no assistance has been required yet.

“But they know that we want to help,” said Therese Peck of Peoria, immediate past president in a report to the membership. “I will definitely stay in contact with them.”

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