There are the simplest of acts that many of us take for granted. Where we can lay down our head at night. What kind of warm, comfy pajamas are we going to wear. What books do we choose to read the children in our lives for their bedtime story. Simple acts we all take for granted.
For children who are in the foster care system, these simple acts are more like a dream deferred. Many children go to bed in their underwear and not knowing what pajamas are. Many are removed from the only home they know and place in foster care. Their “luggage” is usually a large garbage bag. Their entire world is in that bag and many times the clothes they have are the clothes on their backs. Their daytime clothes are the clothes they sleep in. Bedtime should be a restful peace time for every child, but for millions in America that is simply not the case. Children who don’t know a loving home environment or live in the streets that are cold and not safe. For the fans of Michael Jackson, this is not acceptable.
Michael Jackson Fans of New York has vowed to do something about this. For the last seven years, we have chosen to honor Michael’s birthday by choosing the nationally renowned 501-3C charity the “Pajama Program”. An organization that is dedicated to provide children with “loving, magical gifts that can offer a new reality.” The Pajama Program turns their words into direct loving action and changes the nights of children in need to those of sweet dreams.
We ask that Michael Jackson fans worldwide join us in this heartfelt crusade to help provide children with a restful, warm bedtime . Michael dedicated his life to encouraging us to “Heal the World” and it is in that generosity of that spirit; we carry on his legacy. It’s all for Love and Legacy. And isn’t that the ultimate test of Michael Jackson’s legacy, LOVE?
If you would like to join Michael Jackson fans of New York, please make your donation directly to the Pajama Program > pajamaprogram.org. Make sure you tell them your donation is in honor of Michael.
Pajama Program was born from one simple question, posed by a child:
“What are pajamas?”
This was not a question from a child on a field trip to a museum, but from Maria, a young girl living in a shelter who was holding a pair of pajamas for the first time. When she finally understood that the pajamas were a gift, and that before bed she could change into them from the clothes she had worn all day, she asked happily,
“You mean I can keep these for the rest of my life?”
That was back in 2001, when Genevieve Piturro, Pajama Program’s founder, discovered that the children she read to at a local shelter did not have a caring adult to tuck them into bed each night, let alone a pair of warm, comforting pajamas to change into or a storybook to enjoy before the night descended. Instead, the children she saw there were often relegated to sleeping on a cot or futon, two or three together, still wearing their clothes of the day.
With bags full with new pajamas and storybooks, Genevieve returned to the shelter to ensure that all of the children there would enjoy a good night. And realizing that this ritual was missing from the lives of many children all across the country, she started Pajama Program to bring love and hope to them all in the form of a loving bedtime.
Melanie Freeman, MJJJP Admin
The MJ Fans of NYC Twitter Account is @NYCLovesMJ