Suze Orman noted in her best-selling book The Money Class, “A friend recently made her five-year-old’s birthday party into a pajama party, asking children to come in their PJs and to bring a new set of pajamas instead of a gift. The pajamas were donated to the Pajama Program, a charity that gives new pajamas and books to children in need in the U.S. I thought this was a great idea that created a real opportunity to teach small children about our obligation to help those less fortunate.”
Orman’s not the only one who thinks paying it forward is a great idea. This year in celebration of a decade of giving, the Pajama Program is issuing a Call To Action to the nation’s children and their families to hold Pajama Drives and Fundraising Events to help reach a goal of serving 500,000 less fortunate children by year-end.
In schools and communities nationwide, it is often children who have never experienced loss or desperate need who work the hardest to gather as many donations as possible to help bring a smile and some comfort to their less fortunate peers.
Supported by thousands of volunteers nationwide — from children to parents and grandparents – the much beloved Program has eached an important milestone–the one million mark. Given one million new pajamas and new books to children in need across the country has helped them feel a little less lost and alone. The Pajama Program’s Call To Action for “Danger Season” makes a difference in the lives of ALL of the children and families it touches – the thousands of thank you letters and drawings they receive is a testament to this. As Suzie Orman said, it’s a great way to teach children about our helping others less fortunate.
The beloved non-profit has deep respect and support among celebrities as well, such as Oprah Winfrey, Meredith Vieira, Caroline Kennedy, Judy Collins and Whoopi Goldberg.
The Pajama Program operates 79 chapters in 42 states and provides new pajamas and new books to children waiting and hoping to be adopted while living in group homes, shelters and temporary facilities. These children have been through great upheaval and trauma, without exception. Some live with their families below the poverty level. Too many have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a parent tuck them in at bedtime with warm, clean pajamas and a bedtime story. And the books the Pajama Program give these children to read at bedtime go a long way in improving their reading level as well, as so many have been removed from school for long periods of time and do not have access to books.
Pajama Program’s mission becomes more urgent during the period it identifies as “Danger Season” when the thermostat dips and the harsh winter months settle in. Starting October 1 through Spring of 2012, Pajama Program works hard to heighten the public’s awareness of the need to keep these at risk children in warm, clean nighttime clothing and with a bedtime book to allay their fears.