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What are pajamas?': Inspiring non-profit is trying to help a million kids have a 'good night' next year

The little girl whispered to me, "what are pajamas?"

Image: PajamaProgram.org

Thirteen years ago, Genevieve Piturro hit a pivot point in her life.

She described the emotional tale of an adult woman waking up one day and realizing she had been so busy climbing the corporate ladder that she "sort of skipped the marriage, having children part of life." She added, "And I missed something."

Piturro shared her very personal story on this week's episode of Pure Opelka on TheBlaze Radio Network.

So Genevieve decided to visit shelters in New York to read bedtime stories to children. As she finished reading, Piturro noticed something odd — the kids were climbing into bed, but almost none of them were wearing pajamas.

She asked the shelter staff if she could bring pajamas for the kids, and they thought it was a great idea. The following week Piturro returned with books and pajamas she purchased.

Image: PajamaProgram.org Image: PajamaProgram.org

As she was handing out pajamas, Genevieve noticed one little girl would not take a pair. She then asked the child, "Why don't you want your pajamas?"

Piturro said the little girl whispered, "What are pajamas?"

That moment was a flashpoint that spurred on Piturro to start her Pajama Program — a non-profit group that collects pajamas and books and delivers them to children all over the country. To date more than three million children all across the country have been recipients.

But the job is far from over.

According to recent statistics, 1.6 million children are homeless and go sleep in a shelter or group home every single night. Many of these "children in transition" are waiting to be adopted or placed in foster homes. And most of them exist with just the clothes on their backs and little else.

Image: PajamaProgram.org Image: PajamaProgram.org

The Pajama Program operates 60 chapters in 33 states. The group also receives support from children's clothing manufacturer Carters and the publishing company Scholastic.

Listen to the inspiring interview with Genevieve, which starts at the 21-minute mark:

Piturro and her partners have set a big goal for the coming year — they hope to collect and deliver "1 Million Good Nights" by the end of 2015.

Image: PajamaProgram.org Image: PajamaProgram.org

Learn more about the work done by the Pajama Program here.

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Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.

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