I have come to realize there are 3 dreams wrapped up in Pajama Program
#1 The children's dreams.
If they are afraid, they want to feel protected and safe, if they are cold they want to feel warm and cozy, and if they are lonely they want to feel loved, like they belong, that they are remembered because they feel invisible.
#2 Dreams we at Pajama Program have had, for 13 years.
To reach our goal to provide new pajamas and new books to the children on our list four (4) times every year - that's 1.6 million children a year. We're making progress but .there are still too many children on our wait list.
#3: Your dreams.
We know you have dreams for yourselves, your future, for your families and loved ones...but I know you also have a dream for the children we serve together. I know this because of the care and love you show the children in so many ways. We see your eyes looking into theirs when you are here with the children in our Reading Center. We understand your desire to help in the letters and emails you send us, and we hear how compassionate you are when you call. We are grateful every day for your generous donations and I personally feel how strongly your dream to make a difference is. You have a dream to not only make a difference, but to really believe and feel that you are making a difference. And we are working to make that dream for you come true because then we come full circle... the dreams the children have will come true too.
I wrestle with these three dreams every day. Some days they overwhelm me, but I know to wait for a sign to keep me going...
Like this letter from a little boy, Juan, in CT..."I like pajamas because they're comfortable and make you feel FREE when you go to sleep. I like to read books because they help you dream quick and it's good for your brain!"
And from Felicia in Ohio, "I like my pajamas because I don't have to wear my regular clothes to bed."
Most days I'm able to concentrate on the dreams we all have for the children...but I have my nightmares too. There are two things that haunt me: That little girl I met 13 years ago who whispered to me, "What are pajamas?" And the note from young Jason, "Thank you...they're the first PJs I've ever owned."
So I keep dreaming, like all of you, of making that difference we can see and feel, looking for the signs, a few words of confirmation, a clue on how to move forward. These are gifts I long for.
Two days ago I was given one of these precious gifts in a message from Rosie Perez whose book "Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair)" reveals Ms. Perez's young years in an orphanage.
Rosie told me, "It's the people that stay in these children's lives that make the difference for them."
So let's stick together and stay the course to make these dreams come true for the children. It should be easy...because we have our very own DREAM TEAM - all of YOU!