Hey, WordPress! My name is Athena Sofides, and I’m starting pjsforpatientsblog today to accompany the press-release of my “Be BIG in Your Community” grant by Scholastic! These awesome $1,000 grants are for people who want to make a difference in their communities. I am humbled to say that my idea for PJ’s for Patients was chosen as a winning entry! Take a look at their site: http://www.scholastic.com/cliffordbebig/contest/index.htm.
Just a little bit about me: I’m a 16 year-old high school Junior from Brooklyn. My hobbies include crocheting, reading, writing, jogging, fencing, dancing, listening to music, volunteering, and fundraising! I’ve been fundraising for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk for six years now. I also volunteer with Gilda’s Club NYC, a cancer support group that works with families dealing with cancer. I sit on the Junior Associate Board, where I spearheaded the friendship bracelet fundraiser, and also help out as a counselor for the children of Camp Sparkle, the organization’s camp for children dealing with cancer.
I work with cancer organizations because I think that the issue of cancer is a harsh yet prevalent one. It is a truly ubiquitous disease, influencing people everywhere, despite personality, nationality, gender, and, unfortunately, age.
The fact that over 13,000 children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year is an unfortunate but prevalent one. These children and teens must seek various treatments for their cancer, often traveling far from home to receive the best care possible. However, being away from home is always a frightening experience, especially when a child is forced to trade in her normal clothes for hospital gowns. The aim of PJ’s for Patients is to help hospitalized children with cancer by making them feel at home. When you’re at home, you’re comfortable, and what is more emblematic of home than pajamas?
The GOAL of PJ’s for Patients is to bring some light and comfort to the lives of children living with cancer in hospitals. Although a new pair of PJ’s won’t cure the disease, they can bring some happiness and hope at an otherwise solemn, disheartening time. And seriously, who doesn’t love PJ’s?
PJ’s for Patients will host collections of very gently-used and new pajamas for children and teens, as well as solicitations for donations to clothing/pajama manufacturers for larger-scale donations. Along with the actual collections, preparation and delivery days will also take place.
This has been a SUPER long first post, but I will wrap it up with this: I am SO EXCITED to be starting PJ’s for Patients. I am looking forward to every moment of this journey, and am so pumped to be able to make a difference! I am very passionate about ending childhood cancer, and can’t wait to help ASAP!!!! Updates will follow soon.
Talk to you soon!
-Athena Sofides, CPDF (Chief Pajama Deliverer and Fundraiser)