Plans were underway for the Christ Child Society of Cleveland’s annual spring Red Wagon luncheon, but once again, the coronavirus pandemic interfered.
Mary Herrick, Christ Child Society of Cleveland president, said the committee was hoping to host the event in person this year. “While the COVID-19 outlook is promising, it still prohibits us from safely gathering our usual 400 guests,” she said. “We may not be able to share a lovely meal and conversation seated around a table with family and friends, but we have found new, creative ways for the Christ Child ladies to have fun together and support our second-largest annual fundraiser.”
The Red Wagon Fundraiser, Cleveland Edition, will take place virtually, but it will engage Christ Child Society members in safe, small groups for some fun photo ops while they showcase the city of Cleveland and help raise awareness of their mission: Challenging Poverty in Greater Cleveland.
Members are gathering family and friends at several Cleveland landmarks to take photos and videos – all of which will include the society’s signature red wagon. Videos and photos will be taken until May 5 at many area landmarks, including A Christmas Story House, Progressive Field, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the chandelier at Playhouse Square, Rock Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland sign at Edgewater Beach Park, the pink towers at Malley’s Chocolates in Cleveland and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
A video will be created and broadcast at noon May 21 on YouTube.com Christ Child Society of Cleveland.
In addition to the video, there will be a variety of raffles and other opportunities to donate in support of the organization’s mission. All proceeds directly benefit programs supporting Greater Cleveland’s children in poverty.
For more than 100 years, the Christ Child Society of Cleveland has addressed the growing needs of children in Greater Cleveland.
The story of the red wagon dates to 1892, when Mary Virginia Merrick, founder of the Christ Child Society, asked the son of her family’s laundress what he would like for Christmas. The boy – named Paul – said he wanted a red wagon so he could help his mother deliver the wash. However, he told Merrick the family was not celebrating Christmas that year because his father was out of work. Merrick suggested that Paul write a letter to the Christ Child and ask for a red wagon, since the Christ Child was the giver of all good gifts and Christmas was his birthday.
Paul and his siblings took her advice, wrote letters to the Christ Child and delivered them to Merrick, who ensured the wishes were granted. The gift tags were signed, “From the Christ Child.”
In this vein, Christ Child Society members of Cleveland continue to follow Merrick’s legacy and mantra, “Nothing is ever too much to do for a child,” with programs ranging from layettes for newborns to their popular “My Stuff” bags for children entering shelters, to literacy outreach.
For more information on the Red Wagon Event, Cleveland Edition and the Christ Child Society of Cleveland, click here or follow the chapter’s Facebook page. Raffle tickets for items from event sponsor Peter & Co. Jewelers and donor Michael Angelo’s Winery and Bakery also can be purchased on the website.
The Christ Child Society of Cleveland also can be reached at 216-939-3859.