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There's still time to donate to 'Pajama Project'

Date: 12/28/2010

Dec. 29, 2010

By Lori Szepelak


SPRINGFIELD — For many area residents, a set of pajamas can be a luxury item these days.

Rev. Jim Brennan and Rev. Tim Keating, co-directors of the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel at 254 Bridge St., want to make this winter a bit more comfortable for those living in city shelters by collecting new pajamas (nightshirts and nightgowns too) for children, women and men.

Their holiday season endeavor is "The Pajama Project," and donations will be accepted at the chapel through Jan. 7. Donations of clean, new sleepwear can be dropped off at the chapel weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as well as at The Cruise Store in East Longmeadow, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Other locations where sleepwear can be dropped off include Tower Square's City Walk Cafes on Wednesdays in December from noon to 1:30 p.m., and at any Pride Stations & Stores during business hours.

During an afternoon interview with Reminder Publications inside the chapel, Brennan recounted how his niece, a teacher in the Massachusetts public school system, remarked that one of her students didn't have a pair of pajamas to wear to a "pajama party" at school. Brennan noted the little girl told his niece she would wear the same clothes to bed that she wore that day.

"Being homeless is hard on families," he said. "Many times people say they want to do something to help. This is one small concrete thing that will help."

All pajamas collected will be donated to Gray House and Friends of the Homeless, both based in Springfield.

Now in its fourth year, Brennan notes that despite the tough economic times, people are always generous. Last year, the community project collected 427 pajamas for individuals of all ages.

"After people pay their bills and buy groceries, pajamas seem like a luxury item for many," he added.

For persons who would prefer to make a tax-deductible monetary donation, checks may be sent directly to the chapel to the attention of Brennan or Keating.

For more information on the pajama project, contact Brennan or Keating at 739-1472.

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