A luxury car dealership is an unlikely venue for a pajama party. Nonetheless, Lexus of Stevens Creek, San Jose, partnered with the nonprofit Pajama Program for a second year to host a PJ party Feb. 23 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Actually, it was a pajama sorting party.
Lexus of Stevens Creek volunteers teamed up with Pajama Program volunteers to organize and pack 400 pairs of donated new pajamas and books for needy Bay Area children. Many of the children are in shelters hoping for foster or adoptive homes. Others live with their families at below the poverty level.
During the dealership’s January and February pajama drive, the Lexus customers who donated the 400 pajamas and 280 of the books were thanked by receiving 10 percent off their service bill. One hundred and twenty books were donated by the nonprofit Recycling4Smiles.
“Lexus of Stevens Creek is thrilled to partner with Pajama Program once again this year,” says General Manager and V.P. Jared Miller. “Our hope is to bring comfort and warmth to children in need, and we also hope to inspire others to join us in giving back to our community.”
Santa Clara County agencies served by the Bay Area chapter of Pajama Program, a national organization founded in 2001 (www.pajamaprogram.org), include Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, Rebekah Children’s Services, San Jose Family Shelter – Family Supportive Housing Inc., Unity Care Group, The Villa & Commercial Street Inn, Children’s Receiving Center of Santa Clara County and Help One Family.
“Our mission is to give children dignity at bedtime. Children in foster care, particularly, are often there by no fault of their own and end up with just the clothes on their backs,” says Pallie Zambrano, Bay Area chapter president. “[We are] giving them the opportunity to transition to bedtime with a new pair of pajamas that are theirs to keep and a book of bedtime stories to read.”
Lexus of Stevens Creek project manager Tracey Chiappe was one of the 12 volunteer pajama sorters.
“As a child growing up in the 60s and in cold weather, we spent many rainy days playing inside at home in our PJs or had friends over for a slumberparty. We especially loved our PJs with the feet attached to keep our toes warm,” says Chiappe.
“One thing that stands out to me is the advance of flame retardant in pajamas. As a child helping my mother cook, I leaned over the stove and my [pajama] top caught on fire. Luckily, my mother put it out quickly, and I was not burned. Pajamas then did not have any flame retardant properties,” she continues.
“It’s important for young children not only to have the luxury of wearing new PJs for warmth but also for safety. It was heartwarming to see how many young children will benefit from this drive.”
“Today brought back young memories. Sister, brother and friends full of hopes, dreams and anticipations, surrounded by the happiness of the moment. Something you can’t relive but will always remember in your heart,” says Maya Lai, Lexus of Stevens Creek Guest Relations Manager.
“Each of you has something to offer – a talent, an idea, a connection, a donation. If you feel a calling to Pajama Program, we’ll find a place for you – with as little or as much time/effort as you have to give,” states Zambrano on the chapter web page: www.pajamaprogram.org/chapters/CA-Bay-Area. Contact Zambrano at firstname.lastname@example.org.