The Gift of New Pajamas

Years ago when I was in the catering business, I was asked to cater a 250 person pajama party.  It was held on Friday night in a beautiful venue.

My job was to supply lovely appetizers to the attendees.  I didn’t know too much about the event before I got there, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

Every one of the attendees was in pajamas.  Some ladies wore gorgeous negligées, and some guests came in crazy, fuzzy animal onesies.  Some ladies even put their hair up in big rollers, and most of them held a teddy bear of sorts.  Guests were having a lot of fun.

I also discovered that everyone bought a $50 ticket to attend, and all guests either brought a new pair of pajamas with them or a cash donation.  Since I was very curious as to the purpose of the event, I made sure I was available to listen to the organizer’s speech about an hour into the party.

She was a girl who appeared to be around 30.  She told the room, meekly, that she was in the care of many foster parents growing up.

She went on to expose her feelings and experiences of her childhood as much as her emotions would allow her to.  She apologized many times during her speech in order to choke back tears and try to regain her composure.

She told us how cold and detached she felt growing up.  Until she went to stay with this one family.

When she arrived at their house, they had a new, warm pair of pajamas laid out for her and a new stuffed teddy.  She started to cry again as she told us how amazing and comforting and personal it was to receive a new pair of pajamas and her own teddy.  She could not get over how comfortable and special those pajamas made her feel in her otherwise disjointed crazy life.

She decided at that point, when she was older and able, she was going to collect as many pajamas and stuffed animals as she could for children in the same position as she grew up in.

Years later, her project started out slowly and she collected only a few pajamas in the beginning.  But the word grew about what she was doing, and pajamas came flooding in in the years to follow.

When a marketing friend of hers suggested they make a big party out of the event, it became an annual event.

She now collects enough new pajamas and donations to not only supply her neighbouring children’s aid society, but to help out charities in other cities as well.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the place!

It’s amazing how one little gesture of a new pair of pajamas could make such a difference to a child.  And how that one child, despite her tumultuous upbringing, could become such an inspirational person and give love and comfort to so many.

Kathleen Bolton

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