Collaborations with local Brooklyn youth

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.

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Kiwanis Club Board holding some newly donated pajamas! From right to left: Sabrina,Randy, Edwin, Yi, Preston, Unique, and Alvin.

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!

Warmly,

Athena Sofides, PJ4P Founder

 

 

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December Deliveries and New Year’s Festivities!

From your family at PJ4P, happy New Year! We hope that this year brings you light, warmth, and comfort.

To anyone who has supported us during 2017: thank you. With your help, we’ve delivered over 2,700 pajamas to children and young adults receiving cancer treatments in hospitals away from home. As we approach our fifth year, we aim to continue our work until a cure is found, and similarly look forward to continuing to work with you — our community — throughout this process.

We would like to thank Bay Ridge Cares and Girl Scout Troops 2397, 2736, and 2387 — two of our Brooklyn community partners — for organizing PJ4P fundraisers during the month of December. Bay Ridge Cares is a volunteer-run grassroots organization that seeks to build community in the Bay Ridge area by organizing activities “to help bring our community together”, providing financial assistance to neighbors in need, and engaging in projects both independently and alongside other local organizations to empower members of Bay Ridge to collectively attain the highest possible quality of life for each other and themselves. Bay Ridge Cares has been a supportive partner of PJ4P for over a year, collaborating with us in their Pajama Drive for local pediatric cancer patients and families living in shelters during December 2016 and again this past December.

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Last month, Bay Ridge Cares hosted their annual pajama drive, the poster for which is shown to the left. We’re so grateful for the generosity of the Bay Ridge community in organizing and supporting this event. We delivered a portion of the pajamas collected to patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Pediatrics Department and the Ronald McDonald House New York. If you live in the Bay Ridge and/or larger Brooklyn area and are looking for ways to meaningfully build community, work alongside your neighbors, and give back in whatever capacity that means for you, we encourage you to  check out their website and Facebook page to learn more.

We’d also like to thank some of our local Girl Scouts (pictured below!) for collaborating with us in their holiday pajama party! All party attendees arrived in cozy pajamas, ready for an evening of dancing, playing games, and working on some creative crafting projects. Their work in spreading the word about PJ’s for Patients culminated in the collection of nearly 50 cotton pajamas which were also delivered to Sloan-Kettering and the Ronald McDonald House.

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As always, please contact us if you’re interested in collaborating with us through a community fundraiser, would like to make a donation, or want to learn more about us!

Narrows Botanical Garden Fall Fest- Thank you, Brooklyn!

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Thanks to all who visited our 3rd annual PJ4P booth at the Narrows Botanical Garden’s Fall Fest this past Sunday, October 8th, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn! It was a pleasure to see so many familiar faces- neighbors, community partners, and past volunteers- and to meet even more new people, hear their stories, and raise awareness about who we are and what we do as an organization.

 

As always, we arrived at the Fall Fest ready to sell our TP Pumpkins, toilet paper rolls covered in recycled autumnal fabrics and made to look like pumpkins- strange, charming items of fall decor (more about what that means can be found here and here)!

Along with the fundraising component of the Fest, we were beyond pleased to have spoken with so many interesting, interested community members- local students, teachers, parents, representatives of community organizations and businesses, and several visitors enjoying their weekend in Brooklyn- whose time and attention have proven invaluable in spreading awareness of childhood cancer, as well as the role of our organization in making the experience just a bit more comfortable.

We are grateful for these new members of our community, as well as for those who have supported us from the start of our project. We are excited to see where these new connections can take us, and encourage anyone who is interested in becoming more involved, whether that means organizing a fundraiser or learning more about childhood cancer, in reaching out to us. PJ4P is always looking to collaborate with organizations, schools, businesses, groups of friends, individuals, etc., and we look forward to having a conversation with you about what this could look like! Please contact us or leave a comment below if you are interested in learning more.

Thanks again to our supporters, as well as to the Narrows Botanical Garden for organizing this event each year. Also, shoutout to Laina, Demetri, Anna, and Joanie for their help in running our booth!

Lake Como Day Fall Fundraiser

IMG_2449Happy fall!

Thanks to all who attended our fall fundraiser at New Jersey’s Lake Como Day! All proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to purchase new, 100% cotton pajamas for pediatric cancer patients.

We are excited to have had our first event of the year, and are in the midst of planning more community/outreach events this fall. Please contact us if you are interested in hosting a fundraiser, becoming more involved with PJ4P, or simply learning more about who we are and what we do.

Cheers!

Thank you, St. Joseph’s College!

We would like to extend our deepest thanks to St. Joesph’s College New York, Brooklyn campus, for collaborating with us this spring! After a several week-long pajama drive, the Saint Joseph’s community collected a total of over 50 pairs of pajamas, as well as a variety of books and games, for children and young adults receiving cancer treatments in hospitals just across the bridge in Manhattan.

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We would like to extend a special thanks to Sadia Besry and Catalina Gaya, St. Joseph’s students and active members of their community both within and beyond campus. We look forward to working with them again in the near future!

As always, if you are interested in hosting a PJ-raiser or becoming more involved with PJ4P in any way, please contact us using the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Collaborations with the Bay Ridge Community Council

Happy spring!

Earlier this month, PJ4P had the privilege of working with the Bay Ridge Community Council in their Community As One drive, which brought together a number of community members and stakeholders, including the 68th Precinct Community Council and co-chairs, youth service groups like the incredibly dedicated Bay Ridge Lemonade Coalition, religious communities, like the Bay Ridge Jewish Center, and other local businesses. This several week-long collection of new books and pajamas was kicked off on Saturday, April 1, where community members came together to raise awareness of pediatric cancer and domestic violence, the causes for which the pajama and book donations were made.

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Members of the Lemonade Coalition, a group of Bay Ridge youth working together to make change within and for their community

The drive was extremely successful, raising funds, hundreds of pajamas and books, and a great amount of awareness and support from community members. We would like to extend a special thanks to Irene Sacco and Liz and Preston Ferraiuolo, whose collective efforts were critical in the smooth running and success of this event.

Donations collected from the Community As One drive will benefit patients receiving treatment at Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Pediatrics Department, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at NY Presbyterian, and the Ronald McDonald House NY.

Please see these resources for more information:

Updates and New Year Wishes

 

From your friends at PJ’s for Patients, happy New Year!

As we commence and begin to move through 2017, we would like to thank the many generous people, communities, organizations, and hospital departments who volunteered or organized with us, or who in any other capacity supported us, this past year. In 2016 we reached a new milestone, having delivered more than 2,000 pajamas to children and young adults receiving cancer treatments in hospitals away from home.

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We would also like to give a special thanks to Bay Ridge Cares, “an organization of neighbors dedicated to making our community a better place by doing all the good we can, in all the ways we can, for as many as we can”, for collaborating with us in an incredibly successful, community-wide fundraiser! With drop-off locations in six central Bay Ridge spots, the generosity and concern of the community, and the superb organizing power of Bay Ridge Cares, the organization collected a total of 336 pairs of pajamas, which were donated not only to PJ’s for Patients but also to the children and teens of several local domestic violence shelters.

Here’s the jackpot, 336 pairs of children’s and teens pajamas collected by Bay Ridge Cares and its supporters! We are so proud of and grateful for our community!

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PJ4P wishes you the healthiest, happiest, and most comfortable 2017. As always, please contact us if you are interested in collaborating with us or learning more!