Preview: some adorable new jammies!!

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Just sorting out some of our wonderful new PJ’s! We have some Monsters Inc., Paul Frank, and Carter’s! This will be a great delivery! 🙂

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Deliveries #3 and #4! And our intro to the Ronald McDonald House!

Joanie and I at the Ronald McDonald House
My friend, Joanie, (left) and me (right) at the Ronald McDonald House of NYC.

Hello!
This past Friday, the 18th, was a very exciting day for PJ’s for Patients! With the help of my lovely best friend, Joanie, we completed our third and fourth deliveries in just one day! Our first delivery was to our old friend, Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Pediatrics Department. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to deliver 26 100% cotton pajamas, 18 books, 2 toys, and 1 scrapbook!
Our second delivery was to a new collaborator- the Ronald McDonald House of NYC! The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that “provides a temporary ‘home-away-from-home’ for pediatric cancer patients and their families” (http://www.rmh-newyork.org/mission-statement). Pediatric patients seeking hospital treatments away from home are welcomed with open arms to the RMH, which provides extraordinary living facilities, including impeccable bedrooms, playrooms, fully stocked pantries and kitchens, living rooms, and a plethora of other resources for little or no cost to the families it helps.
I am so incredibly excited to be working with such a beautiful and homey place. About three years ago,I completed my Girl Scout Silver Award by collecting toys, crayons, stuffed toys, candy, and books and assembling Easter baskets for the children of the Ronald McDonald House and their families. After the baskets were completed, I distributed them in the RMH cafeteria, where I was able to speak with and meet so many happy, optimistic children. Ever since that visit, I’ve wanted to become more involved with this fantastic and life changing organization.
And I am so excited that PJ’s for Patients has finally been able to become involved!!! This past Friday, Joanie and I delivered 27 pajamas, 19 books, and 2 movies. We’re looking forward to a lasting relationship with the Ronald McDonald House. I encourage you to learn more about this fantastic organization here:http://www.rmh-newyork.org/page.aspx?pid=302. As the House provides many living essentials, like canned food and soap, to its guests, it is always in need of donations. Contact the Ronald McDonald House if you’d like to help contribute to its food pantry, or if you’d like to help in any other way. It is most definitely worth your consideration.
Have a fabulous week!
-Athena Sofides 🙂

Gilda’s Club NYC Friendship Bracelet Sale!

 

Purchase some JAB friendship bracelets to benefit Gilda's Club NYC!
Purchase some JAB friendship bracelets to benefit Gilda’s Club NYC!

 

Happy Fourth of July! 🙂 Some exciting PJ’s for Patients plans are currently in the works- I’ll keep you posted with any/all developments!!

Though this isn’t PJ’s for Patients related, I wanted to write about an awesome, incredible cancer organization: my most favorite place to volunteer, Gilda’s Club NYC. Gilda’s Club is a free cancer support group (located on 195 W Houston Street) that aims to help both individuals and families impacted by cancer in any way. From counseling services to support groups to its children’s summer program, Camp Sparkle, Gilda’s Club is perpetually filled with heartwarming, unifying, comforting activities, welcoming with open arms absolutely anybody who approaches.

Gilda’s Club was founded in 1995 following the death of Gilda Radner, for whom Gilda’s Club is named and was established, to ovarian cancer in 1989. Radner was one of the first female powerhouses on Saturday Night Live; her quirky characters and bold sense of humor set a precedent for modern comedy’s leading ladies.

I became a member of Gilda’s Club two summers ago, when I volunteered as a counselor at Camp Sparkle. I had the privilege of working with an enthusiastic, happily vivacious, and adorable group of kids aged 5-12. Though every child came from
varied backgrounds of unique circumstances, they all had something in common: they had been influenced by cancer. I saw the magnificence and beauty of Gilda’s Club on these children’s faces every day, and watched in covert astonishment as they seemed to forget the lot of struggles and difficulties of their daily lives after coming into each fun-filled day at Gilda’s Club, their support system. I was outstandingly excited to be a part of this safe haven, and have since assisted in several sessions of camp and worked as a member of the Junior Associate Board. The JAB is a leadership board of high school teens from all five boroughs, which works to publicize, volunteer with, and plan events for Gilda’s Club NYC.

Two years ago, I went to a (fabulous!) summer camp called Camp Saint Paul. Among the abundant fireside activities was bracelet making, and ever since I first surmounted the microscopic jaunt that is the Butterfly Stitch Friendship Bracelet, I couldn’t stop making them! After I reached maximum bracelet making proficiency, I had the idea of selling these bracelets for my yearly Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk fundraiser!

So, after joining Gilda’s Club, I was eager to bring the bracelets to the JAB! I spearheaded the JAB Friendship Bracelet Fundraiser and taught the ever-so-crafty JAB teens how to make the bracelets! We have since made hundreds of bracelets and are continuing to go strong in our bracelet sale!!

Bracelets are $5 apiece, but there is a special: 3 bracelets for just $12!! Bracelets come in GC’s signature colors, red, black, and white, and also in an array of others! 100% of profits will benefit Gilda’s Club NYC. Please contact me if you’re interested in supporting this phenomenal organization, my second home! I’m so excited to be participating in Camp Sparkle again this summer! If you’d like to become involved with or learn more about Gilda’s Club NYC, visits their website at http://www.gildasclubnyc.org

P.S. One thing I neglected to mention is that we are so fortunate to have the world’s best ambassador at Gilda’s Club: the magnificent Emma Stone!! Emma recently came to Gilda’s Club for her Amazing Day of Service, during which we taught her how to make the bracelets! She was a natural, and quickly caught on to the bracelet making process (which isn’t particularly difficult, but is often a bit confusing on your first go). So we were impressed.

P.P.S. Emma engaged in a terrific lip syncing battle on Jimmy Fallon later that day; as she delivered a fantastic rendition of “All I Do is Win,” she boasted a JAB bracelet on her fist-pumping left wrist. How awesome is she? (Find out here: http://youtu.be/bLBSoC_2IY8)

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Snapping pictures with the wonderful Emma!
Snapping pictures with the wonderful Emma!