Maryvale's Pajama Drive
After joining the Street Team in 2017 and visiting Roswell Park, I decided I wanted to make a difference for the patients by providing them with some sort of comfort while they were staying at the hospital.
My younger cousin, Nya, was diagnosed with leukemia, so I spent time visiting her at the hospital and noticed that many of the patients were always in their pajamas. Pajamas are easier to get into if they have trouble getting dressed and are more comfortable that regular clothes. It’s no secret that whenever you’re not feeling well, whether you’re at home or at the hospital, a lot of times you want to be comfortable and cozy in your pajamas.
This inspired me to organize a pajama drive to help make patients more comfortable during their hospital stay. A pajama drive is a fundraiser where we collect pajamas of all sizes and colors for people of all ages. They are given to the Resource Center for Patients and Families at Roswell Park, where they are distributed to patients in need. My classmate, Grace Willard, and I organized the pajama drive throughout all of our Maryvale schools. From the middle school to the primary school to the high school and intermediate school, everyone in the Maryvale community banded together to support this cause and the patients at Roswell Park. We even had a drop-off at one of our football games, and the opposing team donated pajamas. It was great to see everyone — even sports rivals! — come together to show compassion and support for those who truly need it.
Our goal was to collect 150 to 200 pairs of pajamas. I had planned on making a poster to show our progress, but on the morning I got to school ready to make the poster in my study hall, we had already exceeded our goal. I couldn’t believe it! Overall, we ended up collecting more than 400 pairs of pajamas. I was so excited and so proud of our community for making such a difference for those going through a difficult time.
I truly could not have done this without the help from my classmate, Grace. She played a huge role in this whole process, and I cannot thank her enough. My teachers, Mrs. Coric and Mr. McNess, were a wonderful help as well. One thing I have learned from this whole experience is that it’s important to give back to the community that gives to you, and even small gestures can grow into something much bigger.