The Pajama Program Helps Local Kids
When I first spoke with Sue Myers a year ago, the Garner elementary school teacher was on a mission separate from her day job. She wanted to make sure children in the Raleigh-Durham area who have been neglected or abused or whose home environment was not stable had at least two comforting things to take to bed with them: a new pair of pajamas and a new book.
Back then, Myers had just signed on as president of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of The Pajama Program, a non-profit organization with 73 chapters nationwide. Since 2001, the national program has provided more than 601,201 pajamas and 331,429 books to children in need. Two weeks into her volunteer position, Meyers was looking for organizations, businesses and private individuals willing to do pajama or book drives and host drop-off donations.
Since then, local companies, schools and daycares, have responded to her call. GlaxoSmithKline has chipped in, and children having birthday parties have chosen to ask their guests to donate pajamas and books to The Pajama Program, instead of receiving personal gifts.
Their collective generosity has rippled out to children at six elementary schools. It has reached The Genesis Home in Durham-which works to end homelessness for families with children-as well as the Community Helpers Service Center in Knightdale, and the Orange County Department of Social Services. (Photos courtesy of The Pajama Program)
With the drop in temperatures, The Pajama Program is again swinging into high gear to ensure that children stay warm at night. Meyers is again looking for local businesses to volunteer as drop-off points for pajama and book donations and asking that you e-mail her with any donations. Visit the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill website for more information and to link to the group's Facebook page and its Amazon Wish List page.
With recent statistics showing that more than 1 in 5 children in the U.S. live in poverty, the need to care for kids is greater than ever.
Despite the recession's impact, isn't it nice to know that folks-grown or young-as well as companies, continue to care, and they make a difference?- Written by Odile Fredericks, Carolina Parent Web Editor