Good, warm pajamas can be key to getting a good night's sleep. So a city-based group is continuing its mission of providing pajamas for children in need and set a goal of collecting and distributing a million pajamas to kids in need by 2015. Roger Clark filed the following report.
It's a busy time of year for the staff at Pajama Program, founded by Genevieve Piturro in 2001 when she was reading to kids in area shelters.
"I brought pajamas one night after I read I gave out the pajamas and I left the books with the children and one little girl wouldn't take what I brought for her. And she just simply stood near me and she just said, ‘What are they?’ She had never had pajamas,” said Piturro.
Since then Pajama Program has been doing its part to make sure children in need have pajamas and books, delivering more than one million of each over the years. The organization is now nationwide with 62 chapters, but the home base is right here on East 39th Street in Manhattan.
"These kids love the pajamas, for some it's the only clean article of clothing they’ll get, they talk about how they sleep better how they feel safe, how they are so warm and how they stay calm and how they are cozy,” said Piturro.
Pajama Program recently kicked off its One Million Good Nights campaign to collect a million pairs of PJs and a million books by the end of 2015. Piturro says the need is there since they work with more than 3,000 agencies and the waiting list for donations is in the tens of thousands.
"This year more than ever, and we hear from our chapters around the country, the shelters are overflowing, and the need is greater,” Piturro said.
Piturro says they are proud of what they do, but she doesn't sleep because of what they haven't done yet.
"The one note that I have by my desk, and we have it for people when they come in, is a note that we got several years ago from a little boy only known by Jason, and he wrote with a crayon ‘Thanks for the PJs, they're the first I’ve ever owned,’” Piturro said.
All sizes of pajamas are needed, but especially larger sizes, 10, 12 and 14, also adult sizes for teenagers.
For more information on how to donate, go to www.pajamaprogram.org.