Comfort and Joy: PJ Donation Helps Saskatchewan Kids Sleep Easy

Charlotte Ross-Koteck (r) and Tryna Odland of Yorkton Big Brothers Big Sisters with some of the pajamas from their pajama drive.
Charlotte Ross-Koteck (r) and Tryna Odland of Yorkton Big Brothers Big Sisters with some of the pajamas from their pajama drive.

For many children, getting a new pair of pajamas at Christmas is a much-anticipated family tradition. Not only is it a fun way to welcome the holidays, a warm set of PJs brings comfort like nothing else. But, for some Saskatchewan families, new pajamas can be a luxury they simply can’t afford.

This past holiday season, the Yorkton Pioneers set out to make the season a little brighter for kids who may be in difficult situations.

As part of their holiday giving, the Yorkton Pioneers decided to contribute up to $500 of their annual budget toward a pajama drive put on by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yorkton and Area.

At the same time many of us were completing our own holiday shopping, SaskTel Pioneer Charlotte Ross-Koteck was busily looking for sales on behalf of her Yorkton group. Charlotte works as a Customer Service Specialist (Sales/Credit Services) at SaskTel’s Yorkton office and often helps out with local Pioneer projects.

“I went to Superstore and took advantage of their clearance sales and was able to accumulate 63 pairs of PJs for just under $500,” said Charlotte. “It felt great to be able to spread some holiday cheer to local kids. We are very supportive of Big Brothers Big Sisters and all they do in our community.”

The drive was put on so that mentored kids, who often come from disadvantaged backgrounds, could wake up on Christmas morning in the holiday mood, knowing others in the community cared about their well-being and comfort.

Another reason? For families on a tight budget, nighttime clothes are often the last thing a parent purchases for their child after taking care of their daywear needs and other necessities.

As a result of Charlotte’s hard work sleuthing for deals, the Yorkton Pioneers were able to graciously present bags full of brand new pajamas, ranging in size from infant to young adult, just before Christmas. Irma Van De Bon-Nicol, Executive Director with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yorkton and Area, said that they were immensely grateful for the community’s response to this year’s first annual drive.

“We serve not just Yorkton but surrounding communities including Melville, Churchbridge, Langenburg, Esterhazy, Rocanville and Melville,” explained Irma. “If it weren’t for the Pioneers’ donation, we wouldn’t have been able to give pajamas to all the children spread out in these communities.”

In all, the experience showed that a pair of pajamas can be a big deal. While Charlotte isn’t sure if this is the start of a new Christmas tradition for the Yorkton Pioneers, she’s thrilled she had a chance to be part of it. “We’re really looking forward to seeing how the community builds on this first year.”