Monday, December 12, 2011
Holiday Pajama Drive
Full press release after the jump.
Area Mom Mobilizes Christmas Pajama Drive for Kids in DC Foster Care
Earlier this year, DC resident Kathy Jackson lay in her hospital bed, wiped out from leukemia treatment. She couldn’t see her three children, Joseph, Sam, and Tyler (ages 12, 8, and 7, respectively) because exposure to their normal childhood germs would have made her sick at a time when a simple cold would have been disastrous. A bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy had destroyed her immune system.
One of the few bright spots in those days was when a nurse would deliver a package sent by a friend that contained a pair of brand new pajamas. She says, “few things are as comforting as a new pair of pjs” when you are really feeling lousy.
It was then that she came up with the idea to sponsor a Christmas pajama drive for children in the foster care system. It is a cause near to her heart.
Jackson’s sons were all adopted from the DC foster care system and she recalls that, “not one of them owned a pair of pajamas when they came to me.” The idea of the pajama drive was one of the things that kept Jackson going through her illness and staved off self-pity on tough days. She stayed strong and determined to get back to her boys, her work, her life---and to run her pajama drive.
Early response to the pajama drive has blown her away. So far, she has received dozens of pairs of pajamas (with commitments for many more en route) from as close as her own neighborhood, and as far away as her home state of Maine. Two networks that she has mobilized for support include her former high school classmates in Maine and Moms on the Hill, a list serve of some 3,000 families on Capitol Hill and beyond.
Kathy invites all area residents to consider donating new pajamas, robes, and/or slippers in sizes from toddler to adult (for teenagers). She is particularly passionate about making sure that the many teens in the DC foster care system benefit from this drive. “There are so many teens, especially boys, who will never be adopted out of the foster care system,” she notes, and the holidays can be an especially tough time for them.
There are several ways to help, for those who do their shopping on-line, pajamas and other items can be sent to The Family Room 411 8th St., SE 32, Washington, DC 20003 and a drop box available for walk-in donations. Another Hill business, Evolve Property Management at 1344 H St, NE, Washington, DC 20002, will also have a drop-box.
The drive runs through December 20th, at which time all donations will be delivered to DC Child and Family Services for distribution to children and teens throughout the foster care system.