The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the weeks of giving. There’s no shortage of ways to help out, and so many charities seem to need extra help this year. My husband, Roger, through his job at a local news station, does a lot of stories on charities around town that need help. This week I woke up to see an image of him sitting around in some adult sized footie pajamas and quite frankly I was confused. What on Earth…? I thought he said he was doing a charity story this morning?
Turns out he was talking to the founders of Pajama Program. Quite frankly, I’d never heard of them despite them having some pretty high-profile press and corporate partners. By the end of Roger’s two-minute piece I was texting him to ask what I could do to help. I was so moved by their simple mission to provide a new pair of pajamas and a book to children in need nationwide. The full mission as listed on their website is this:
“Pajama Program provides new pajamas and new books to children in need nationwide, many of whom are waiting to be adopted. These children live in group homes, shelters and temporary housing facilities and are shuffled often from one place to another. Many of them have been abandoned, abused or neglected. Most of these children have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a parent tuck them in at bedtime with warm, clean pajamas and a bedtime story. Some of the children are living with their families below the poverty level, in desperate need of food, clothing and shelter. These two simple gifts of pajamas and books let the children know that someone cares – sometimes these are the only new things they have ever received.”
Can you imagine a child without a pair of pajamas? A child who doesn’t even know what pajamas are? One of the founders of Pajama Program told a story to Roger of how when she was visiting a shelter a child was given a pair of pajamas and the child asked what they were. How on Earth are there children in America who don’t know what pajamas are? My heart just broke a little. THAT is why my husband was sitting on the morning news in a ridiculous pair of footie pajamas.
You can buy ridiculous adult footie pajamas as a gag gift, yet we have children in our country who don’t even know what pajamas are.
The bedtime ritual of cozy pajamas and a storybook is so ingrained in our culture, in our parenthood, and the raising of our children that I cannot imagine being unable to provide that for my child. Yet some children in our country do not have the comfort and security of a change of clothing for bedtime. The comfort and peace of having someone read them a story is a foreign concept to them.
It makes me want to buy all the pajamas I can get my hands on and go read a million books to kids right now.
Currently Pajama Program is running a One Million Good Nights campaign with their partners Carter’s and Scholastic. The goal is to collect “one million new pajamas, one million new books and the resources needed to get them in the hands of children in need by December 31, 2015.” I can’t personally buy one million pajamas, but I can help spread the word. All the ways to help out are on their website at: http://pajamaprogram.org/ This is such an easy thing to do to help a kid know that someone out there cares. That can make a HUGE difference in a young child’s life.
This is a wonderful charity to have your kids help out with too. Even at three years old, Jack understands that little kids need pajamas and a bedtime story – that’s just basic stuff. Except for when it isn’t.
Here’s the piece that ran on NY1 if you’re able to see it, (I know sometimes you must have a Time Warner Cable login to see video on NY1.com) http://www.ny1.com/content/219845/pajama-program-looks-to-grant-warm-holiday-wishes/
What charities are near and dear to your hearts? Please share and let’s try to inspire one other to help as much as we can!