Tomorrow is pajama day at my daughter’s school. She gets to wear comfy pajamas to school all day – she can even bring a blanket or stuffed animal along with her. It makes me a little jealous that I don’t get a pajama day at work. Maybe I will work from home tomorrow and have a pajama day on my own. Well, some kids don’t even know the comforts of nice pajamas. Today’s organization is trying to change that.
The Pajama Program was started in 2001 by Genevieve Piturro. She was volunteering at a homeless shelter reading to the children and noticed that they did not have pajamas to wear to bed at night. Instead they slept in the clothes that they had on all day. Genevieve came back the next week with 12 pair of pajamas. She handed them to each child when one girl asked what they were and when she would wear them, Genevieve’s heart sank. Within weeks the idea for the Pajama Program was starting to form. She told everyone to bring her new pajamas and she gave them to the children. In late 2001, Parenting Magazine published an article about the pajamas and new books that were being donated and suddenly boxes started arriving from around the country.
The mission of the Pajama Program is to provide new pajamas and new books to children in need. These children may be waiting to be adopted, children in homeless shelters or temporary living situations, orphanages, or children removed from their homes for various reasons, such as abuse. The program headquarters is in New York, but there are over 70 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
Since their founding, over 1,000,000 new pajamas and new books have been given to children. These books are theirs to keep – a book and a pair of pajamas to hopefully bring some comfort to these kids. It doesn’t take long reading thank you notes from children who have received a Pajama Program donation to know that they really make a difference. The Pajama Program also has additional programs for teens to help them express their feelings with poetry and to learn about money and budgeting.
You can help!
- The Pajama Program website has everything you need to run a pajama collection in your community, school or business.
- You can also donate online using a credit card.
- You can find a chapter near you and volunteer your time.
- There are also some wish lists on the organization’s website.