As we begin to see the leaves changing color, crisply falling to our streets and sidewalks, we get a sense of excitement that Autumn is on the way. We think of apple pies, football games, and brisk nights nipping at our cheeks. On chilly evenings, there is nothing more cozy than putting on a warm pair of pajamas, hunkering down under a blanket and reading a good book. We welcome the cold, knowing we can look to our favorite comfort items to keep us warm and safe.
For many kids in our nation, chilly nights are not a thing to enjoy, but rather a thing to survive.
Did you know:
- 1 in 5 American children live in poverty -- a higher rate than any other developed country except for Romania. (2013)
- More than 16 million children in the United States -- 22% of all children -- live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level (Source: National Center for Children in Poverty)
- All but 6 states have experienced an increase in homeless children in the past year, with 10 states showing a20% or greater increase. (Nat'l Center for Homeless Education)
- More than 3.5 million people are homeless every night, and 1.35 million are children. (Source: Open Door Mission)
- The average age of a homeless person in the United States is 9 years old. (Open Door Mission)
For these reasons, and many more, the www.pajamaprogram.org works hard to deliver new, warm pajamas and books to children in need, many of whom are without parents and/or permanent homes. Pajama Program serves children ranging in age from newborn to 18 who live in group homes, shelters and temporary housing. Since 2001, Pajama Program has provided over 3 million new pajamas and books to children through 60 chapters across the country.
And this year, they need YOUR HELP!
Starting tomorrow, October 1, 2014, Pajama Program will enter its second year of the nationwide One Million Good Nights initiative. Their goal: to collect one million new pajamas, one million new books, and the necessary resources to get them in the hands of children and adolescents in need here in the U.S.
October 1st is the start of "Danger Season" when temperatures begin to drop and countless children are in need of warm sleepwear and comfort. To date, One Million Good Nights has already hit its halfway mark with 500,180 pajamas and 590,428 books collected so far.
Learn more how you can take part in delivering 1 million good nights to kids in need by visiting Pajama Project's website: www.pajamaprogram.org.
Collections will continue through December 15, 2015