I have only spent the night in a hospital twice – one time for the birth of each of my children. The pajamas that they provided were not comfortable – I prefer a stretchy pajama that moves with me as I toss and turn in the night. Today’s organization understands that hospital pajamas are not just uncomfortable, but they are also a sign of sickness.
Sweet Dreams for Kids is a non-profit organization started in 2008 by the Berezovsky family. They are based in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a mission collect and donate new, cute, cozy, and comfortable sleepwear to children in the hospital. According to Wendy Berezovsky, “I started Sweet Dreams for Kids, after my youngest, who is now eight years old, was born with cancer. I knew I wanted to do something to help bring a little bit of comfort to other families going through difficult medical situations.”
So, why pajamas? When Wendy was in the hospital’s oncology floor with her youngest child, she had time to think. She felt a need to do something good, something to put a smile on the faces of the kids there. When I asked about the founding of the organization Wendy told me, “Every time I looked at my little girl in those hospital pajamas, it was that constant reminder that she was sick. It is an unbelievable change when you put cute, cozy, and comfortable pajamas on kids in the hospital; the difference is amazing. Unfortunately, it does not make their tough medical situation go away, but my hope is it makes them feel a little bit more like every other kid. Kids at home are tucked in bed with pajamas that they pick out, and I believe kids in the hospital should be able to do that as well.”
The Berezovsky family held their first pajama party in December 2008 at their children’s school. Wendy stated, “It is so amazing to see your own kids and their friends so excited about helping other kids.” Since that first party, they have donated over 10,000 pairs of pajamas to hospitals locally and around the United States as of August 2013. The family wants kids to feel the comfort of home, even when they are in the hospital. They hope to bring a little extra smile to the children and hope it makes a difference in their recovery.
During one visit to a hospital to drop off a donation, Wendy heard a little girl screaming. In the room, she saw the girl’s mom and a nurse right by her bed. When they explained that Wendy was bringing her a new pair of pajamas, the girl stopped crying and calmed immediately. Wendy says she gets so happy when she walks into her basement and sees it filled with pajamas ready to deliver. She smiles knowing that each pair of pajamas means one child in the hospital will hopefully be smiling a little more.
Sweet Dreams for Kids collects new pajamas for kids from birth to teenagers. They have a vision to fill every children’s hospital with pajamas for kids to choose from. Volunteer opportunities include hosting a pajama party, assisting with pajama sorting, calling businesses and schools and fundraising.