BOSTON, MA – The Boston Bruins and BJ's Wholesale Club are proud to announce that the Third Annual PJ Drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons collected over 13,000 pairs of pajamas during the month of February, beating last years total by 1,000 pairs. The pajamas will be donated to Cradles to Crayons, a Quincy-based nonprofit organization that helps homeless and in-need children, and distributed to children throughout the Greater Boston area.
As part of the month-long drive, local schools were encouraged to participate by holding their own pajama collections. Students and their families throughout Massachusetts contributed a total of 4,635 pairs of pajamas to the Drive. For the second consecutive year, the students of Dolbeare Elementary School in Wakefield, MA collected the most pajamas of all the participating schools, with 900. To congratulate the Dolbeare students on their success and to thank them for their support, the Boston Bruins and BJ's Wholesale Club will host an in-school ice cream party and a visit with the Bruins mascot, Blades.
BJ’s Wholesale Club also played an integral role in the collection, as BJ's Home Office, BJ’s members and vendor partners - combined to collect more than 8,000 pairs of pajamas.
Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman visited BJ's Wholesale Club in Stoneham, where he personally donated $1,000 worth of pajamas to kick-off the 2010 "PJ Drive." He also signed autographs and took photos with everyone that donated a new, unused pair of pajamas to the "PJ Drive".
Bruins fans contributed an additional 500 pajamas and a monetary donation of $850 during an in-game collection on January 18. Cradles to Crayons meanwhile collected $4,153 through online donations to their website.
"During these difficult economic times many families are struggling to provide even the very basic items for their children. This winter Cradles to Crayons has experienced a 40% rise in demand for services," says Lynn Margherio, Founder & CEO of Cradles to Crayons. "Often, something as simple as a new pair of pajamas can feel out of reach for a struggling family. Thanks to the Boston Bruins and BJs Wholesale Club, thousands of disadvantaged kids across the state will be warm and cozy when they go to sleep."
Former Bruin P.J. Axelsson and his wife Siw started the PJ Drive during the 2007-08. They collected 1,600 pairs of pajamas for Cradles to Crayons during the first year. After learning of the tremendous need last year for pajamas, they set a donation goal of 7,000. Thanks to the generous support of Bruins fans, schools throughout the state, BJ's Wholesale Club and Cradles to Crayons, last year's PJ Drive eclipsed that goal by more than 5,000 pairs of pajamas.