From the very beginnings of PJ’s for Patients, our work has been almost entirely youth-led. I founded PJ’s for Patients as a junior in high school and quickly found community in my friends and peers, young people excited by organizing and looking to support other young people alongside a youth-led team. This has come to characterize PJ4P, which works largely by collaborating with youth-based initiatives to organize fundraisers, spread awareness of pediatric cancer, and join forces with child life departments to deliver pajamas and the warmth and comfort we hope come with them to children and young adults receiving cancer treatments.
One such youth-based initiative is the Kiwanis Builder’s Club at the Christa McAuliffe Intermediate School 187 in Brooklyn. Preston Ferraiuolo, club president, defines their group as “a community service club connecting junior high students to do good deeds for their community.” Composed of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders studying at IS 187, the Kiwanis Club epitomizes youth-led organizing by engaging local students in meaningful collaborations with community service initiatives of their choice.
This fall, the Kiwanis Club hosted a pajama movie night to support PJ4P, a well-attended and successful event that contributed immensely to a recent pajama delivery to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Ronald McDonald House New York.
We’d like to thank the students at IS 187 — especially members of the Kiwanis Club Board whose dedication to PJ4P made this event possible — for a fruitful collaboration. We hope to work with you again in the near future! 🙂
To learn more about the Kiwanis Builders Club, please visit their site.
Thank you for reading, and for your support!
Athena Sofides, PJ4P Founder