Christ Episcopal starts annual pajama collection

From staff reports

Christ Episcopal Church in Oil City has launched its annual pajama collection that benefits local youngsters.

Started in 2012, the project pairs a set of new pajamas with a new book for hundreds of children. To date, it has yielded more than 2,800 sets of PJs and books.

Sarah Margherio, church member and founder of the pajama project, said the project has grown from collecting about 200 sets in the first few years to collecting and distributing more than 600 sets a year.

In creating the campaign, Margherio said “I wanted children to have a book to be tucked in with at night. Jammies were the perfect fit for that.”

In keeping with the church mission, there are no administrative fees, no taxes, no charitable giving forms. All donors need to do is donate a new set of pajamas or cash to buy new books.

While the local church has spearheaded the effort, donations have “poured in” from community members and former Oil City residents over the years, said Margherio. Postings on the internet have prompted many former Oil City residents now living elsewhere to order pajamas online and have them sent to her.

“This year, we received generous financial support from the Oil City teachers’ jeans fund, Oil City Rotary Club, Belles Lettres Club and the Fryburg Sportman’s Club,” said Margherio, noting the distribution to children will be done before Christmas.

New pajamas or cash donations may be dropped off at Christ Episcopal Church on Central Avenue from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays or at the Margherio home at 552 Bouquin Circle.

“Many children have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a parent tuck them in at night with warm clean pajamas and a bedtime story,” said Margherio. “The simple gift of pajamas and a book let children know that someone cares. It is wonderful to know so many people see the importance of children having books and pajamas because every child deserves a good night.”