Donating Warmth & Imagination: AMS Staff Collect Children’s Pajamas & Books for Local Hospital
SEPTEMBER 30, 2019—AMS staff coordinated an office-wide pajama and book donation drive for the Pajama Program, a nationwide organization dedicated to providing all children with warm, cozy pajamas and enchanting books. Their philosophy is that by transforming bedtime into a caring ritual, children feel validated and loved, and a good night is preparation for a good day and a better life.
Over the course of several weeks, AMS staff filled an oversized collection box to the brim with new children’s pajama sets and books, which were donated to the Pediatric Emergency Unit at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Health System down the street from our NYC office. Staff thoughtfully selected some of their childhood favorites, like Goodnight Moon and The Ugly Duckling.
Dr. Anthoney Lim, medical director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and the Short Stay Unit at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Health System shared, “The donations you provide and the work you put into collecting PJs for our patients are definitely appreciated. It turns an unanticipated admission into a much more comfortable experience for our families, even to the point of feeling like a camp sleepover. Thank you for your ongoing generosity and support.”
A few staff members had the privilege of hand-delivering the donations, and received a welcoming tour of the brightly decorated emergency unit. The emergency unit offers single rooms to all of its patients to ensure their comfort and privacy. Admitted children often take part in decorating the floor—offering them an opportunity to create and feel distracted and inspired—while at the same time livening up the environment to make it less institutional than traditional medical settings.
Marcia Graham, certified child life specialist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Health System, has dedicated her life’s work to ensuring her patients’ stays are as comfortable and transparent as possible. In a rather Montessori-esque manner, she explained how she does all that she can to include the children in conversations about what is happening to them, using everyday terms that they understand. She explained how she gives the children choices whenever possible (such as which vein they should choose for an IV), so they have ownership over their bodies and decisions.
Marcia said, “As simple as it may seem, the feel of comfy pajamas and a book are a nice addition to help decrease the stress and anxiety for both the caregiver and the patient/child.”
We are grateful for each of our staff members who participated in this volunteer effort.
We know that many of our member schools facilitate donation drives, too. Please tell us about your efforts by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, to find out more about the Pajama Program, email email@example.com.