Holly Ryan (left) as named as the recipient of the Christ Child Society’s Red Shoe Award. (Submitted photo)

The Christ Child Society of Milwaukee has announced Holly Ryan as the recipient of the 2024 Red Shoe Award. Ryan’s unwavering commitment to service, leadership and compassion has left an indelible mark on the community.

Ryan’s journey with CCS began in 2004, and since then, she has worn many hats within the organization. Her tenure as co-president during the challenging 2020-21 period, marked by pandemic-related disruptions, showcased her resilience and dedication. Despite the obstacles, Ryan ensured CCS continued its vital work, supporting children and families in need.

As co-director of the Second Saturday program, Ryan embodies the “Follow the Child” philosophy. She believes in empowering children, mothers and grandmothers who participate in this initiative. Her determination and hard work were instrumental in reviving the program after a two-year hiatus caused by pandemic restrictions. Ryan’s commitment extends beyond CCS events. She tutors at Our Lady of Good Hope Parish School and actively contributes to the resale shop. Recognizing that not everyone can commit to ongoing programs, Ryan initiated one-day projects, including her involvement with the Milwaukee Diaper Mission project.

Ryan has forged meaningful relationships with organizations like Hope Network and the 16th Street Community Center. Additionally, her involvement in mentoring female inmates at Taycheedah Correctional Institution demonstrates her dedication to uplifting others. Ryan’s heartwarming contribution to the layette program involves teaching incarcerated mothers to crochet baby items. Her efforts ensure that even the tiniest members of our community receive love and care.

Upon receiving the Red Shoe Award, Ryan expressed her gratitude: “I am truly humbled by this recognition. Like everyone else in the Christ Child Society, I believe in action. At the banquet, I shared a quote by Edwin Markham: ‘There is a destiny that makes us brothers (sisters). None goes his (her) way alone. All that we put into the lives of others comes back into our own.’”

Ryan exemplifies the spirit of selflessness and compassion. Her tireless efforts remind us that “nothing is ever too much to do for a child.”