Have you ever had one of those moments that seem innocent enough but end up changing your life forever? Genevieve Piturro did. A self-described workaholic who was way more interested in climbing the corporate ladder than starting a family, Genevieve decided to check in with herself one day and realized that not having children left a much more gaping hole in her life than she thought.
To fill the void, Genevieve started going to shelters around New York City and reading to the kids there one night a week. On one particular night, she realized that the kids were being put to bed without pajamas. On her next visit, she came bearing gifts. After reading to the children, she lined them all up to make sure they each got a pair of pajamas that fit. One little girl refused to take a pair. When all of the other children had been given theirs, the girl looked at Genevieve and said “What are pajamas?”
Pajama Program, an organization that delivers warm sleepwear and books to kids in need, was born in that moment. Genevieve knew she had to do something. She thought about bedtime when she was a child. It was so safe and secure and nurturing. For the kids she was reading to, it was a time when their fear, loneliness, and vulnerability was at its absolute worst. Books and pajamas weren’t just material. They provided comfort and emotional support and showed the kids that someone cared.
In 2013, Genevieve and Pajama Program launched the One Million Good Nights campaign. They made a promise to collect one million new pajamas and one million new books and get them into the hands of children in need by December 31, 2015. They are so close to their goal of helping a million children.
You can help them get there by donating today and sharing this post with your friends and family. Just $10 can provide a child with a book and a pair of pajamas!
In case you need a little inspiration (whether for kids in need or your own), I put together a collection of really cute pajamas paired with some of my kids’ favorite books.
JENNIFER GARRY is a writer and the mom of two girls who talk as much and laugh as loud as she does (just ask her much quieter husband). She writes about that ever-elusive struggle for balance on her personal blog, Cuddles and Chaos. Read all of Jennifer’s posts.