By Ukee Washington
MALVERN, Pa. (CBS) - When a Chester County woman heard about homeless children who needed pajamas, she decided to do something about it. She’s like a Santa for sleepwear with the help of a lot of elves!
Arleen Romano of Malvern knows how to pack goodnight hugs into handmade fleece bags. Over the last five years, she has distributed 3500 goody bags with pajamas to homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters across Chester County. She calls it Pajama Buddy.
“Many times children who are homeless are sleeping in their parents’ cars, so they don’t have pajamas. They don’t change into pajamas,” Romano said. “In fact, some children have never had a pair.”
Each set is made for a specific child. It starts with a colorful fleece bag, sewn by her or by volunteers. The bags are filled with a new set of pajamas, as well as a toothbrush and toothpaste donated by Arleen’s dentist. She tucks in books and toys as well. Her workshop is full of donations from her church and others.
“We’ve had Baptist churches, Methodist churches, two synagogues, kindergarten classes, Brownie troops,” said Romano,
“so it is a community effort. It truly is.”
Spring Mill Senior Living in Phoenixville was inspired to help, too. Residents with memory impairment, with guidance, hand-tie fleece blankets.
Charlene Bryant of Spring Mill Senior Living said, “They do get it. They have a great look in their eye. They understand that they’re doing something for their community.”
Then the blankets are delivered to Arleen, more warmth for a child who needs it.
“Many times the children come into the shelters with what they have on their backs, so this is a little goody bag for them, a little form of comfort, I hope,” Romano said.
If you’re interested in donating, Arleen Romano invites donors to email her at Buddiespj4@gmail.com.