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Ten years ago, one New York woman noticed children in shelters and group homes sleeping in their clothes because they didn’t own even one pair of pajamas. She filled a shopping bag with new sleepwear and books and began to hand them out to the youngsters, many of whom were abused, abandoned or neglected.  In 2011, Genevieve Piturro and her non-profit Pajama Program will celebrate the 10th anniversary of service to needy children across the country.

To mark this anniversary, the Junior League of Central Westchester (the “JLCW”), along with its sister Leagues in Westchester, is teaming up with the Pajama Program to conduct a new pajama and book drive for needy children in Westchester.  At the JLCW November Membership Meeting, Ms. Piturro passionately told League members that “Danger Season,” when the temperature dips and the harsh winter months settle in, is the time of greatest need.  For so many needy and abused children, winter means endless cold and scary nights,” she explained. “The winter season is a particularly critical time when these children are most vulnerable to serious colds and illnesses. Warm, clean pajamas help to protect them against night chills and harmful conditions. Emotionally pajamas are a hug for children who feel lost and alone.”

The books the children read at bedtime go a long way in improving their reading level as well. Most have been removed from school for long periods of time and do not have access to books and their grade reading level is far lower than their peers.  “Physically and emotionally comforting children, and providing them with stimulating reading materials, are two goals that fit directly within the

Junior League’s mission of improving the lives of our neighbors in need,” said JLCW President, Allison Weiss.  “We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with this amazing organization.”

The JLCW will be collecting new pajamas and books at its headquarters which is located at Wayside Cottage, 1039 Post Road, in Scarsdale, through December 15th  and welcomes donations from the public.   Anyone wishing to donate may also contact the JLCW at (914) 723-6130

Since its inception, the organization has provided 880,000 new pajamas and new books to children across the country, operating 79 chapters in 42 states throughout the U.S. The program serves children in need living in group homes and shelters. Most have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a parent tuck them in at bedtime with warm, clean pajamas and a story.

Press contact Judith Berger Eforo at Eforo@aol.com  or by phone to (914) 262-0765.