04/14/2014 03:13 pm ET Updated Jun 14, 2014

Notes from the Children

The "Kid Blog" on our Pajama Program website is full of sweet and tender notes and drawings from children who receive our pajamas and books. On a daily basis these notes melt our hearts as our imaginations fill with visions of smiling boys and girls gathering around impatiently when their care-giver hands out the gifts.

"I play with my toys at bedtime. I wear my pajamas because it is fun. I love to read because it is important," writes an 8 yr old.

And from a 6 yr old, "These are great! I am going to wear them tonight and not take them off tomorrow, Thank You."

And sometimes we get job reviews...
"I love my New Pajama thank you and I want you to know good job."

And then there are the notes that make us teary-eyed. Kids say what they feel. It's great when a child is old enough to write the note herself...not so great when its meaning stings...

"I love my pajamas. They have snowmen all over them. They are very comfortable. I like pajamas because, they are comfortable , and i don't have to wear my regular clothes to bed."

This last note was written by a young girl in Ohio. Sadly, this is not the first note we've received from a child with that exact sentiment on it. I read that note this morning and I went right back to the first days when I visited emergency shelters and spoke with social workers bringing the children in. They arrived in dirty and ripped clothes they had worn day and night for weeks at a time. I was shocked then and I am still taken aback now when I read this note.

I try to imagine how this girl felt when she put on her new warm pajamas for the first time, and how she must have marveled at the thought that there are "special clothes" to wear to bed other than clothes for school and play. If she was old enough to write the note, that means that for years and years, she'd never known these special clothes. Can you imagine? And all this makes me wonder if she has the rest of a bedtime she deserves, tucked in with a story and a warm kiss on her forehead.

In the early days of delivering pajamas and books to children in the shelters, I felt certain they had never had a loving bedtime ritual. I know we cannot change what brings these children to shelters in the first place, but these notes speak volumes about how little it takes to remind them that they deserve a peaceful night...

"I like my pajamas. I said What are these for? and they were because nice people gave them to youl. I sleeped in my clothes and now I sleeped in my pajamas. I didn't wake up all night."