The SunDial Foundation, Inc.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
-- Gandhi
Project PJs 2011
 
 
Founding Established in December 2001 by Helaine Mario, The Sundial Foundation, Inc.
   
Mission Statement Every child deserves to feel safe and loved. Conceived after September 11, the Mission of PROJECT PJs is to support the Washington community's most vulnerable children with a special gift - a comforting package for bedtime that includes a teddy bear, a book, and warm new pajamas.
   
Funding PROJECT PJs is supported by The SunDial Foundation, Inc., HECHT'S (now Macy's) in 2003 and 2004, the Neat Women of MD, VA & DC, the Chevy Chase Players, and private donations.
   
Background

In the 80s and 90s, poverty and hunger were growing at an alarming rate in our Washington community. I thought about the mothers who could not afford books, or warm pajamas for their children in winter. As a mother myself, this was unbearable, and I decided to do something about it. I invited neighbors, friends and colleagues to gather in my home in December and bring a new bear, a book and/or pajamas for a child who needed a bit of extra love. This became an annual event and evolved in 2001 into PROJECT PJs, a program that for more than a decade has provided a comforting package of a bear, book and new warm pajamas to hundreds of our most vulnerable families.

   
Goal

The goal of PROJECT PJs is to reach as many children as possible with a comforting and age-appropriate trio of new pjs, books and stuffed animals. In 2003, with the generous support of Hecht's (now Macy's), 5,000 children received PROJECT PJs gifts. Hecht's agreed to match every donation of pjs and bears, while culturally diverse new children's books were added by The SunDial Foundation, Inc. In 2004, the outreach continued with a generous $5,000 grant from Hecht's.

In recent years, PROJECT PJs has evolved into an "In the Spirit of PROJECT PJs" approach based on the greatest need. While we continue to deliver gift bags of new pajamas, books and bears, we also grant special wish list requests, including: bikes for children at Christmas and Hanukah, books in Spanish, winter coats for inner city children, sweat clothes and underwear for child protection, duffel bags for foster care children, summer camp experiences, humidifiers for newborns, school lunches, musical opportunities and other wish list items where the need is great.

   
Distribution

These non-profits are a sampling of the area programs that have received PROJECT PJs gifts in the past and/or will in 2015:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington
  • Children's National Medical Ctr:
      Champ program
      Generations Program
      Child Protection
      Adams Morgan Clinic
  • ChildHelp USA, VA
  • Community of Hope, DC
  • DC Kids, foster care
  • Doorways Shelter, VA
  • DC Village Shelter, SW, DC
  • East of the River Wards 7 & 8
  • Garfield Recreation Center, DC
  • Helping Hands Center, MD
  • House of Ruth, DC
  • Mary House, DC
  • My Sister's Place, DC
  • National Alliance for Hispanic Health
  • Salvation Army Crisis Outreach, DC
  • St. Anne's Infant and Maternity, MD
  • Stepping Stones Shelter, MD
  • Toyland Initiative, greater Washington
  • The Turning Point Center for Women and Children
 
 
PROJECT PJs will be an on-going project into the future, as there is need all-year round.
 
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