Doing Good Together June 2009 Newsletter Doing Good Together June 2009 Newsletter


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Doing Good Together Newsletter )
Helping strengthen kids and communities through family volunteerism... June 2009
in this issue
  • Sweet Dreams for Disadvantaged Kids
  • Parley about Pajamas
  • Inspiration
  • Family Story
  • News From DGT
  • Kids love pajamas. They are cozy and fun to wear, whether covered with Batman, Superman or flowers. Not to mention pint-sized nightgowns and pjs with feet. The very basic joy that pajamas bring is the idea behind the Pajama Program. It involves collecting pajamas for kids who are in need of comfort, and is a cause all children can embrace. It could be an easy way to bring some fun and meaning to your family's summer.

    Jenny Friedman, Executive Director

    Sweet Dreams for Disadvantaged Kids
    pajama program

    Make a Difference...
    The Pajama Program, a nonprofit that provides pajamas to kids in need, suggests different ways your family can support their mission.

  • Go to the store and have each of your children pick out a pair of pajamas they would love to wear themselves. Then donate the pjs to the Pajama Program. If you want, you can have each child "earn" some of the money by doing household chores.
  • Have a pajama drive in your neighborhood, school, faith group or among your family and friends. Decorate a large box where you will keep the new pjs you collect. A Pajama Program flier explains how to conduct the drive and where to donate the sleepwear you collect.
  • Host a "pajama party" for kids or families. Have each guest bring a pair of new pajamas they've chosen to donate. You could also have your guests wear their own pjs to the party!
  • Photo: Pajama Program

    Parley about Pajamas
    What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms, & Pajamas

    Talk About It...
    Collecting pajamas provides an opportunity to talk to children about the fact that some children don't have the simple things many of us take for granted. Ask these questions as you work on your pj collection project together.

  • Do you remember having a favorite pair of pajamas? What did they look like? How did they make you feel when you wore them?
  • How would it feel to wear your clothes to bed each night? Would you miss wearing pajamas?
  • If you were waiting to be adopted, do you think having nice, new pajamas would help make you feel better?
  • What of pajamas would you pick out to donate? Why?
  • How else can we make a difference for children who are going through a hard time?
  • Learn About It...
    What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms, & Pajamas (Around-the-House History) by Patricia Lauber; illustrated by John Manders (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2008). Ages 4-8. Did you know that people didn't start wearing pajamas until the 1500s? What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms, & Pajamas is filled with little-known facts about sleeping customs from the Stone Age to modern times. Accompanied by colorful illustrations, the book provides a humorous look at history and casts a new light on familiar objects we tend to take for granted.

    Photo: What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms, & Pajamas (Around-the-House History)


    "Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles, and kindnesses, and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort."

    Humphrey Davy, English chemist, 1778-1829

    Family Story
    Zac-2nd grade

    It all started three years ago, when Zac Olson was a 6-year-old kindergartner. He and his mom, Courtney, were watching Oprah during Zac's spring break. That particular afternoon, Oprah Winfrey was talking to Genevieve Piturro, founder of the Pajama Program, a nonprofit organization that provides new pajamas and books to children in need. Piturro described how much it meant for children in foster care to receive a new pair of pajamas and Zac, who is adopted himself, was immediately intrigued - and concerned. He wondered why some children don't have permanent homes. And because "Zac is a kid who would be in his pajamas all day long if you let him," Courtney says, he couldn't imagine not owning a pair. He was immediately inspired to help.

    Zac asked if he could pick out a pair of pajamas to donate, and Courtney readily agreed. While they were at Target selecting just the right pair, Zac began wondering how many more kids he could help if he asked his classmates to donate pjs as well. That day he set a goal of collecting 30 pairs, and wrote a letter to his fellow students at JFK Elementary in Lakeville, Minn., requesting donations. His teacher agreed to distribute the letter, and soon Zac had collected 63 pairs of pajamas, from red-striped flannel to dinosaur-themed sets.

    The next year Zac asked everyone in the school to donate. Soon other Twin Cities schools were inviting him to come talk about the project - and the Minnesota chapter of the Pajama Program was born. (Because of Zac's interest, his grandmother actually led the state chapter for a couple years.) Minnesota has now donated over 10,000 pairs of pjs to children in need.

    Zac, who is introverted by nature, graciously accepts invitations to speak to school groups and has grown increasingly comfortable spreading the message to children and adults, Courtney says "It's been a real leadership experience for him," she says. "He's had to come out of his shell." For her part, Courtney follows Zac's lead - going along when he's invited to speak, buying materials so he can create signs promoting the program, and supporting him as his ideas - and the projects - grow.

    News From DGT

    Doing Good Together needs your help! If you can spare some time to devote to our organization, please email us. We are looking for:

  • Doing Good Together board members to regularly attend monthly board meetings and participate on subcommittees, as needed. We're seeking folks who have an energetic commitment to the idea of family volunteering, especially those with some corporate experience, have young children (3- 12 years old), and/or have computer technology skills. (You must live in the Twin Cities area.)
  • Individuals with skills in writing, social media, event planning, development, marketing and more! E-mail us with your availability, skills and interests.
  • Quick Links...

    phone: 612-822-6502

    5141 16th Avenue South | Minneapolis | MN | 55417

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