LEHMAN TWP. — Comfortable pajamas to relax in and sleep was a luxury Lake-Lehman JuniorSenior High School girls Lacrosse team did not realize many other children lack.
The students were informed about the continuous need for pajamas, clothing and personal hygiene items Luzerne County Children and Youth Services faces daily after a member of the team’s booster club read an April 4 Times Leader story.
“It was a really good story,” said Christine Shook, booster club member. “I called the coach and asked if the team could collect pajamas.”
Ron Strohl, the girls varsity lacrosse coach at Lake-Lehman was eager to help the agency as well.
“Anything we can do to reach out to the community is a good idea,” he said.
After the varsity and junior varsity teams heard about children their ages removed from their homes due to abusive situations, the girls organized a pajama drive that ran from April 5 to June 2.
“I did not know (children not having pajamas) was a real problem, ” said 13-year-old Faith Butler, a seventh-grade student at Lake-Lehman.
The teams were advised to purchase pajamas in their sizes, Shook said. An agency representative told Shook they received a lot of clothing for small children but not much for teenagers.
“Pajamas are a simple thing to have,” said 14-year-old Jess Parry. “Kids should help.”
The teammates collected between 35 to 40 pairs of pajamas, Shook said.
“We need to encourage (clothing collection) with other schools,” said Kait Premus, 16, a sophomore.
At the teams’ end-of-season banquet held Thursday, June 2, Shook announced she spoke with a “lady from Children and Youth who said they received three children the other night. They did not have any pajamas for them. They had to take funds to purchase them pajamas. They also are in need of socks and pillows.”
The news created a stir among players, who began tossing around ideas for future collections.
“We could hold collections at games,” Parry said.
Another idea the team discussed was to organize a “fill the field with socks event,” where the school and community would be encouraged to donate socks to cover the lacrosse field.
“The idea to fill the field with socks has a lot of potential,” said 16-year-old Grace Butler, a sophomore.