June 12, 2024
Annapolis, US 73 F

St. Mary’s Elementary Champions Pajama Donations for Critically Ill Children

St. Mary’s Elementary School in Annapolis, Maryland, is making a heartfelt difference for the fifth consecutive year by donating pajamas to critically ill children through the Casey Cares programs. Demonstrating remarkable community spirit, the school has collected nearly 3,000 pajamas over the years, with contributions from each of its 30 homerooms, ranging from Pre-K to eighth grade. This charitable endeavor is part of Catholic Schools Week, a celebration of Catholic education that also serves as a spirit week for the students.

The school’s Spirituality Coordinator, Gail Hocking, was inspired to support Casey Cares after two decades of collecting pajamas for various organizations. Hocking’s interest was particularly piqued by the story behind Casey Cares’ Kami’s Jammies Program, which holds a special place in the community’s heart.

Kami’s Jammies Program, initiated in 2008 by Debi Katzenberger, a volunteer at Casey Cares, honors the memory of Kamryn Lambert, a child who passed away from leukemia in 2007. Kamryn, known for her love of fashion, often wore new pajamas instead of hospital gowns during her frequent hospital stays, finding comfort and a sense of normalcy in them. This program continues Kamryn’s legacy by bringing joy to other critically ill children through the simple gift of new pajamas.

Hocking emphasizes the importance of teaching students to serve others as part of their daily lives, aligning with one of the school’s core values. She notes that the pajama drive resonates strongly with the elementary school children, as it allows them to uplift the spirits of hospitalized children, helping them connect with and support those in need.

St. Mary’s students are not alone in this endeavor; they join numerous other schools participating in the Casey Cares Biggest PJ Party event on April 16. Coinciding with Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, the event encourages people to don their pajamas in solidarity and support. Last year, this initiative helped Casey Cares provide over 25,000 new pairs of pajamas to children in area hospitals.

To be a part of this compassionate cause, businesses, religious organizations, schools, and individuals are all invited to collect new pajamas for the event. For more information on how to get involved, please visit https://caseycares.org/events/caseycaresbiggestpjparty or explore CaseyCares.org.

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