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Foster Care Volunteering

My Teen Daughter Asked for 17,000 Shoes: Why I Said Yes

Dawn Teo | Posted 05.23.2015 | Impact
Dawn Teo

When our daughter first came home to us, weeks before her "sweet 16" birthday, she had one pair of shoes. A pair of old, dirty, split-down-the-sides tennis shoes.

San Pasqual Academy Grandparents Program: A Unique Volunteer Living Option for Seniors

Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson | Posted 11.05.2014 | Impact
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson

This is a narrative about volunteer surrogate grandparents living among teens (who are not related) in a rural, residential school setting far from the crowds of urban Southern California -- and loving it.

Friends in Cold Times

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 03.29.2014 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

When we are hit with snowstorms or worse, many of us have friends we can turn to, places to stay for a while. So many families don't have this support, these types of friends. They're all in the same boat. Their children are huddled together.

January -- March, Let the Holidays Last for the Children!

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 02.12.2014 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Christmas is coming! New Year's is almost here! The season has come and gone so fast! All true... but we know that for tens of thousands of children ...

Finding My Purpose in a Pair of Pajamas

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 01.26.2014 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Just as important as finding your purpose is where it leads you, who it touches, what it changes, and the larger effect it has on the greater good. Sometimes your purpose leads you to a place you could never imagine -- case in point -- pajamas.

Pajamas to Comfort Body and Soul

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 12.30.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

As I gave out pajamas every day, I was continually enlightened by the reaction from moms and dads who were donating to Pajama Program and from the women and men who were caring for children receiving our pajamas.

A Bedtime Promise to Keep

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 12.14.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

We know that the number of children in need in the U.S. is growing, due to the difficult economic conditions many American families face. All children need and deserve to feel safe and loved at all times, but especially at bedtime.

Scary Monsters Under the Bed

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 11.24.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Children we meet ask us what pajamas are; I still can't believe it. They shouldn't have to sleep in their clothes for days and nights at a time. There are no soothing story books to help distract them from frightening thoughts before sleep.

Teen Girls Prove Their Power in the Middle

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 10.01.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

The last "class" brought tears to our eyes and saying goodbye after just two weeks was difficult, actually downright depressing. We will miss them and the life they brought to our Reading Center every day.

What Happens at Bedtime?

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 09.09.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

It doesn't matter if you are in bed alone or with someone, those last few minutes before you fall asleep you are alone with your thoughts.

Literacy Through Love... and a Bedtime Story

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 08.21.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

All of us have a calling. Despite financial and administrative challenges, teachers respond to their calling with gusto. Every day their devotion to teach through love transcends the mindless pay cuts, budget slashes and never ending troubles they are up against.

The Door to His Bedroom Past

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 07.30.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

As we ready our new Reading Center in NYC for Opening Day I am haunted by a call I received several years ago. The call came from a man who said he read about our Program and wanted to learn more. He asked a lot of questions and finally revealed, "I lived in an orphanage."

Inspiration for the Children...or for Us?

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 07.03.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

In one of the rooms in our new Reading Center we're showcasing inspirational and motivational quotes in a mural. As I read the quotes I realize the words are as much for me as they are for the teens. Maybe you'll agree -- we'd be moving mountains much faster if we all believed these words...

More Children to our New Reading Center!

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 06.16.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Our Literacy Program's goal is focused on lifelong learning and upon making a positive impact on the growth of our student readers. To this end we're making plans to fill our space with thousands of children pre-K through teenagers.

I Never Had a Nightgown Before

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 05.28.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Feeling connected to the children we serve is so important to all of us. In every box of pajamas and books we send to group homes and shelters we include a sheet called Pajama Program's Kids Blog sheet.

Planting a Seed at Bedtime

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 04.15.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Pajama Program began 12 years ago with a simple purpose: to give children in need a book to read at bedtime and new pajamas to comfort them through the night.

Very Little to Call Their Own

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 03.26.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

A sad lesson we have learned over our 11 years is that too often, children in foster care have little that they can call their own. We have been working to help change that sad fact, even just a little.

"Why Pajamas Are Great!"

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 03.04.2013 | Good News
Genevieve Piturro

Happy New Year! I thought a refreshing yet comforting way to ring in the New Year would be to share some insights we've received from the children we see at Pajama Program about why pajamas are great!

In the Children's Faces

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 02.18.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Our hearts will embrace our children forever. Every day their faces give us the strength to move forward to help them together.

Five Ways to Love Them

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 01.27.2013 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Letters and notes from the children we serve have guided me to five answers, especially where our teens are concerned: Listen. Don't judge. Hear their call for help. Take a step toward, not away, from them. Never forget them.

Stuffing a Bus With Pajamas

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 12.18.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

Sometimes I am sure I see a spark in a child's eye when he's on line with his classmates to put his gifts on the bus that tells me he gets it -- it's about helping someone else, not just once, but in the days and years to come.

"Danger Season" Is Here

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 11.25.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

There are those jarring moments in life when reality sets in. Moments like the realization that not everyone is lining up to take in every little boy.

A Pot of Gold

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 11.10.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

I no longer yearn for those pot of gold gifts I wanted when I was younger - a jaguar to drive and a fancy house to live in. I am grateful for my pajamas and books just as much as the little boy in the letter is. And I know giving is the real gift.

To Dream and Belong

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 10.23.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

We're sending wishes for them to find friendship with other children, acceptance among adults and recognition in our world.

Mural of Mail

Genevieve Piturro | Posted 10.09.2012 | Impact
Genevieve Piturro

When we pack up each box we never know who will wear the sweet mermaid nightgown or exciting spiderman pajamas or who will go to sleep holding a new, bright yellow Curious George book.