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updated: 11/22/2011 7:58 AM

Donate PJs and books for kids in need at library

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Vernon Area Public Library District submission

Snuggling our children up in warm, cozy pajamas and reading a bedtime story is a nightly ritual in many of our homes.

Extend that feeling of comfort and security to a child in foster care or a group home with a donation to The Pajama Program collection at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire through Nov. 23.

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For its annual Make a Difference initiative, the library is partnering with the national nonprofit Pajama Program, which works primarily with foster care organizations and family shelters to provide books and bedclothes to children in need.

New pajamas are especially needed in winter, when children are most vulnerable to serious colds and illnesses. Warm, clean pajamas help to protect them against night chills and harmful conditions.

The books the children read at bedtime go a long way in improving their reading level as well. Many have been removed from school for long periods of time and do not have access to books and their grade reading level is far lower than their peers.

Donations should be new, unused sets of pajamas (or a nightgown) for children ages 12 and younger. New books may be paired with the pajamas, but it is not necessary to exactly match pajamas and books. Donations in either category are welcomed. Through the Pajama Program's Chicago chapter, items collected at the library's drive will be donated to a social service agency in Lake County.

The Pajama Program is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that provides new, warm pajamas and new books to children in need in the United States and around the world.

Since its inception, the Pajama Program has provided more than 1 million new pajamas and new books to children in need, operating 79 chapters in 42 states throughout the U.S.

The Pajama Program meets the Better Business Bureau's 20 charity standards, the highest ranking for nonprofits. For details, visit pajamaprogram.org.

The Vernon Area Public Library District serves a population of 41,000 within a 32-square-mile area that includes Lincolnshire, Prairie View, and parts of Buffalo Grove, Long Grove, Riverwoods, Vernon Hills, and unincorporated Vernon Township.

For more information about the library and its services, visit http://www.vapld.info.

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