Everyday Heroes: Students bring comfort, pajamas to children through program
NATCHEZ — For many children, the comfort of being able to hide under the sheets with a flashlight and a good book in a nice set of pajamas is a given.
But for those who don’t have that opportunity, Ramona Fenn and some of her littlest helpers worked this year to make it a reality.
The pre-kindergarten teacher at Trinity Episcopal Day School, Fenn first got the idea to collect pajamas from a Scholastic books brochure.
“It said for every pair of pajamas we donate, they will donate a book for a child,” Fenn said. “They wanted needy children to have that feeling that every child feels of snuggling up in warm pajamas with books.”
At the time, the deadline to participate in the Scholastic program was only a week-and-a-half away, but after getting the OK to host the drive from the school and sending the notice home to families, in four days — from Tuesday to Friday — the school was able to collect 132 pairs of pajamas.
Fenn led the charge, but the pre-kindergarten class got behind it quickly.
“When I mentioned it to my (class), they were just so excited about it because about the same time as the drive, we do a ‘The Polar Express’ day, and our children get to wear their pajamas to school and we watch the movie and read the book,” Fenn said.
“They were so excited, and said, ‘We don’t like anything better than our pajamas, and we want to give that to other kids.’”
“They were so excited and loved to help other people. Every day, they were asking, ‘What else did we get today, what sizes?’”
In the end, Scholastic told Fenn to donate the pajamas to the Natchez Children’s Home. The donation was made approximately two weeks ago.
Natchez Children’s Home Executive Director Nancy Hungerford said even though Natchez Children’s Home Services no longer does overnight housing, it still has many programs in which the pajamas can be used and distributed — for example, the Child Advocacy Center, where children who may have been exploited or abused are interviewed.
“At the Children’s Advocacy Center, I will give them a bravery prize,” Hungerford said. “If a child is the right size and age and I have the right pajamas, I will put that in a bag along with another little happy for them.”
Likewise, the children’s home can distribute the pajamas to families who have lost everything to a fire.
“Those pajamas are going to have tons of uses,” she said. “We share them very liberally.”
Hungerford said the children’s home is always thankful to have a group with children involved donate.
“I think kids helping kids is a great thing,” she said.