Three Highlands families have this month joined forces to launch a new community-wide initiative designed to help more people sleep in comfort.
Joy Webster said her family came together recently with the Caplars and Solniks, fellow residents of South Lake, to form the Great South Lake Pyjama Project. The idea, she said, is simple – they’re asking people to donate newly purchased PJs that can be passed on to community members most in-need.
“There’s huge poverty in our area, so many people are forced to go without essentials and basic necessities… I decided I wanted to do something to help,” Webster said.
After seeing a friend successfully launch a similar initiative in Durham Region, Webster was convinced the concept could take hold in Haliburton County. She made a post on her lake association’s Facebook page Nov. 4 and received her first donation later that day.
“I came into town to run a few errands and when I got home, I found this pair of brand-new pyjamas sitting on our deck,” Webster said. “This is such a giving community.”
She presented the idea to Martha Waind and Joan Cavanaugh-Clark, reverends at St. Paul’s Anglican Church. The church agreed to partner in the initiative, with drop-offs being accepted at its thrift store in Minden.
Having the support of the church, and in particular Waind and Cavanaugh-Clark, has been huge in helping to establish the project, Webster said. As of Nov. 14, the group had collected more than 25 pairs of pyjamas.
“Rev. Joan and Martha know who’s in need more than anyone. They know the people who are new to town, who are hiding because of an abusive situation. They see things before we, the community, see them,”
Webster said. “That helps, because they’ll know exactly who will benefit the most from this.” Webster said the plan is to run the project year-round, with pyjamas of all sizes, and for any age, accepted. Two-piece sets are preferred, she noted.
The group is looking for a drop-off point in Haliburton to ensure both the County’s primary hubs are covered. Webster is also willing to do pick-ups.
“I’ve always felt strongly that, instead of complaining about what isn’t happening in our community, focusing on what people and politicians aren’t doing, that we, the people, can be the catalyst for change. This is one small way we can get engaged and give back,” Webster said.
“Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep in new, cozy and comfortable pyjamas,” she added. To donate, or learn more, contact Webster at 705-796-8265.