SACKVILLE, N.B. – Who doesn’t love getting a pair of cozy PJs under the Christmas tree?
The answer to that question is what motivated Pat Cormier to launch a pyjama drive last year, collecting sleepwear for local families and individuals facing hardships during the holiday season.
Cormier said when her children were young, it was a Christmas tradition in their home to get a new pair of pyjamas every year. And she knows there are many others who also make it a custom to do the same. She wants that for every family, no matter the circumstance.
“I just think it’s something every child should have – new pyjamas for Christmas,” says Cormier. “It’s just one of those staples of life. It’s not a luxury, it’s something everyone needs.”
Running the drive in conjunction with Sackville’s Christmas Cheer program, Cormier’s pyjama initiative brought in more than 160 pairs of sleepwear for children and adults of all ages last year. And she’s back at it again this year.
Cormier, who began volunteering for Christmas Cheer about three years ago, said she simply wanted to find another way to contribute, and perhaps spread a little extra comfort and kindness at a time of year when it is needed most.
“I just wanted to do something to help,” said Cormier. “There are just so many out there who are barely making ends meet, who have rent and oil bills and food to buy, who don’t have money to afford Christmas.”
She said mothers, in particular, were thrilled with pyjamas that were in their family’s Christmas Cheer bags last year.
Already, Cormier has seen donations pouring in for the campaign this year and is already at the halfway mark to last year’s numbers. She said people in this community have been so generous in their support of the endeavour.
Cormier is a member of a local ladies’ group called Bagtown Beauties, who get together on a monthly basis for a potluck and some lively conversation. She said they have been huge contributors to the pyjama drive.
“I have a lot of wonderful friends that support this.”
She said many other community members, who have heard about the collection through word of mouth or through Christmas Cheer, have dropped off pyjamas as well.
“Some people donate two pairs, some bring in eight pair, while others bring in one. It really doesn’t matter … every little bit counts.”
Cormier is collecting all types, colours and sizes of nightwear, from newborn right up to adult size XL. She will accept donations up until the morning of packing day on Dec. 13, when the pyjamas will be taken to St. Paul’s Anglican Church, where volunteers will sort and pack up bags for recipients of Christmas Cheer. Donations can be dropped off at 56 Queens Rd., Apt. 4, or call Cormier at 536-1960.
Christmas Cheer touches hundreds of lives
Since its inception in 1967, hundreds of thousands of dollars and toys have been donated to the Christmas Cheer program, touching the lives of many families by providing them with much-needed food, clothing and children’s gifts at Christmas.
Last year alone, thanks to generous donations, Christmas Cheer provided assistance to more than 600 individuals from the Sackville area, including more than 160 children. That assistance was in the form of food vouchers, toy bags for young children, and fruit baskets for seniors. Gift certificates were also purchased from local businesses and distributed to 51 teens.
If you wish to make a cash donation, you can drop off or mail your donation, payable to “Christmas Cheer” to: The Royal Bank, 103 Main St., Sackville, NB, E4L 4B1. Toy, clothing and other gift donations can be dropped off at the Sackville United Church from Monday to Friday, from 9 to 11 a.m. Toy donations can include items such as dolls, books, games, puzzles, toy trucks, baby items and more.
Packing day will be held Thursday, Dec. 13 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. Volunteers are always needed to help with the sorting and packing of toys and clothing, which usually gets started around 9 a.m.