As the director of community outreach for WJCS, the largest human services agency in Westchester County, NY, I have had the pleasure of working with the Pajama Program for the last 5 years. The program runs seamlessly and our children and their parents, most living below the federal poverty line, are thrilled and grateful to be the recipients of the pajamas and books.
The Logan County Family Treatment Court serves parents and their children referred from the Children's Services. The majority of the parents are single females. The Pajama Program has provided pajamas and books to over 60 of the children served in this program. The kids get so excited to get the PJ's and the parents share about the wonderful time they have exploring new books with their children. We are so grateful for the program in our rural community. We have not had anything like this before.
One of my most memorable memories with the Pajama Program happened to be during the Christmas holiday season. As Executive Director Of Operation Safety Net, The Scioto County Homeless Shelter, I often see needy children go without during the holiday's. When homeless households are obtaining and desperately trying to maintain occupancy (spending more than 80% of household income for rent is draining) , most times there is no residual money for extra considerations. Our Shelter tracks and does follow up on the many families that exit our shelter. We do the best we can in securing a gift item for as many of them as we possible can but because of the extreme poverty in our rural area of southern Ohio, we seldom have enough items to meet the needs. The Pajama program contacted us and sent us a book and a pair of pajamas that we could give to each child housed in our shelter, and beyond that...we were able to bless many of the children who recently exited the shelter. Most people would think that a book and a new pair of pajams is nothing....but to a child in crisis who has litterally nothing to call their own....it means everything!!!!!! It brings smiles when they put on their new pj's. The books are so amazing....one child that stands out kept asking any and everyone to read his book to him....that was special to see because his parents could not read or write....one book gave the chils a hunger for reading and learning. Although the child is young, he is now on his way to learning how to read because he recieved a book. We have indeed been blessed to have been beneficiaries of this awesome program!!!!!! Sincerely, Maureen Cadogan