Carter’s and The Pajama Program provide pajamas to kids in need
By Devika Rao
In an effort to create a sense of warmth for children in need, The Pajama Program set out to collect pajamas and books for children in homeless shelters, foster care and temporary housing.
The nonprofit partnered with Atlanta-based Carter’s for a second year to combat “danger season,” the coldest, most difficult time for the children served by The Pajama Program. Many of these children have been abused, abandoned or neglected and live in group homes, shelters or temporary housing without adequate heat.
“Many of these children wind up sleeping in their school clothes which are dirty and uncomfortable,” said Tanya Coventry- Strader, director of corporate philanthropy for Carter’s.
The nation’s biggest retailer of children’s clothing knew it had to help bring comfort to those kids who need it most. To help the program, Carter’s stores nationwide held a pajama drive to raise money and collect pajamas and books for each location’s respective local shelters.
Georgia’s chapter serves over 60 shelters across the state and aims to provide four sets of pajamas per year to the children at the shelters.
“These families are dealing with so many overwhelming issues. During the holiday season we collected gifts, coats, and clothes for 200 children whose families were dealing with crisis,” said Theresa Prestwood, director of marketing and development for Quality Care for Children. “Having the pajamas and books to offer them was a great addition. Children need to know they are safe during the daytime hours and the nighttime hours.”
QCC serves over 400 children whose families are in crisis—such as dealing with job loss, untimely death of a parent, and domestic abuse—by paying for child care so they can put their lives back together.
The program has received over 50,000 pajamas and Carter’s raised over $250,000 to purchase more pajamas for the shelters during the winter season. In addition to the partnership with Carter’s, pajama drives were held all over the city including at the Alliance Theater, Oakhurst Elementary School, and more.
The need for pajamas and books is continuous and having large volunteer groups and organizations host pajama and book drives throughout the year helps The Pajama Program achieve its mission.
“The children we serve are often afraid and vulnerable. For a child who may have been sleeping in the same clothes for days, new pajamas to wear to bed along with a story book to look at or read gives them the feeling of warmth and that someone cares,” said Karen Dorrell, president of the Georgia chapter of The Pajama Program.
Since launching in 2001, The Pajama Program has distributed over 1,200,000 new pajamas and 800,000 new books in over 63 cities in 40 states. It also operates three reading centers located in New York and New Jersey.
To get involved with The Pajama Program- Georgia, visit www.pajamaprogram.org
In Other News: Resurgens Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic South Surgical Center held their fourth annual coat and blanket drive to benefit Haven House. Fifty coats and three blankets were collected, and will be donated to the battered women’s shelter located in Henry County.
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