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Pyjama Angel of the Year Awards 2017

August marked Pyjama Angel Awards month, where throughout the month we showed our appreciation of all our Pyjama Angels who constantly go above and beyond for our Pyjama children.

Our Pyjama Angels are volunteers who are coached, recruited and paired with a child in foster care.

For an hour each week, they visit their Pyjama child and focus on educational-based activities, as an extra support system for foster children.

The aim of the program is not just about invaluable learning but also to show the child they are cherished and loved.

During August we shared posts on our various social media platforms including stories, photos and quotes from Pyjama Angels who have made a significant difference to the life of a child in care.

Pyjama Angels work from eleven regions including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as well as eight rural Queensland locations, and volunteers from each were nominated for Pyjama Angel of the Year Awards.

While only one Pyjama Angel from each region was named Pyjama Angel of the Year, we know that all our Pyjama Angels do incredible work and we appreciate the positive influence they are making on children’s lives.

We are constantly blown away by the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication our Pyjama Angels bring each and every week, and we are not the only ones who have noticed.

All our deserving Pyjama Angel Award winners were nominated for the awards, whether that was by their Pyjama child or the child’s carer.

Thank you Pyjama Angels for your contribution and ongoing support!

To see stories and photos from our amazing Pyjama Angels visit our Facebook and Instagram pages.

If you think you or someone you know would want to become a Pyjama Angel please don’t hesitate to visit us at www.thepyjamafoundation.com/volunteer/.

(Pictured L-R: NSW Coordinator, Megan Guenther, National Fundraising Manager, Deborah Scott-Ranson, NSW Pyjama Angel of the Year, Stella Angelo and Australia Post Representative and NSW State Manager, Colin Hindle)

Support kids in care this tax time

Everyday across Australia, children wake up in warm safe beds, have a healthy breakfast, head off to school in clean clothes and then come home each night to a loving family.  A family who feeds them, helps them with their homework, reads story books to them and most importantly, makes them feel safe and loved.

Unfortunately, in our lucky country, there are over 51,000 children who have not grown up like this.  For these children, their early years have not been warm and safe.  They have gone without food, gone without warm clothes, experienced violence and learnt more about the dark side of life than any child should have to.  Their early years have been full of neglect and trauma and as a result, these children have been removed from their families and placed into care.

Whilst we can’t change what has already happened to these children before they entered the foster care system, we can help to change their futures and give them some positive direction to help them dream big and then realise those dreams.

Support Kids in Care

Our very special Pyjama Angels do exactly this for ‘each and every’ one of the children they are matched with.  They form a very special bond with their child and work tirelessly, week in week out, alongside the foster carers, to bring confidence to these traumatised children, to help them ‘catch up’ at school and to achieve the simple things in life that millions of other children take for granted – things like simply being able to receive a school report card.

With the number of children entering the foster care system continuing to rise rapidly, we desperately need your help to bring the benefits of a Pyjama Angel to many more children in care.

It costs $1,000 for us to help just one child – $1,000 that could mean the difference between that child staying in school, completing their education and having a real chance at a positive life – or that child entering the same cycle of hopelessness that they originally came from.

As we rapidly approach the end of this financial year, please help us to help these children dream big and then have the power to realise those big dreams. Make a tax deductible donation before June 30.

Narissa’s story: how a mentor changed my life

After the loss of her father, Narissa entered the foster care system at just eight years old.

Separated from her mother who struggled with mental illness, Narissa began her life bouncing from home to home, eventually living with six different families throughout her time in foster care.

Now 21, Narissa is sharing her experiences of growing up in foster care to help foster children, and how one special ‘Pyjama Angel’ changed her life.

She lived a life of uncertainty and instability, but through a mentoring program offered by The Pyjama Foundation, Narissa was introduced to Ani Marinovich.

“I was in places where the only person that truly believed in who I was, and what I could do, was Ani, my Pyjama Angel,” Narissa said.

Pyjama Angels are volunteers who are screened, trained, recruited and matched with children in foster care. Together they spend an hour a week focusing on reading, writing and educational-based games.

“Ani helped me build my skills, particularly in English and writing. She was much more than my Pyjama Angel. She was someone who stood up for me, someone who spoke up for me, someone who encouraged me.

“Most of my life I felt very strongly that I was an outcast of some sort, that I was marginalised, and I was,” she said.

Often, it is the guidance and stability of these unique relationships which help these children truly thrive.
“Ani pushed me to see that I was better than what I thought I was – I wanted to be someone who can make a difference, who will change lives. But I didn’t believe I could do that, until Ani told me I could.

“She made a very big difference in my life. I would not be who I am now, without the support and love of Ani,” Narissa said.

The feeling is mutual as former Pyjama Angel, Ani Marinovich believes Narissa made a big impact in her life.

“To realise you’ve made a difference in someone’s life is an honour. Education is like a vital passport to the world. It’s the key to your life’s path, and it’s lifelong. My idea of education is to inspire a love of learning, instil the confidence to believe there is always a way, and belief that dreams are possible to achieve,” Ani said.

“To people considering becoming a Pyjama Angel, I say it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.”
Narissa is now in her final year of University, studying a Bachelor of Justice, majoring in Criminology and Policing and Law.

The Pyjama Foundation encourages children in foster care to reach their dreams and full potential. To find out more about their Love of Learning mentoring Program, visit: www.thepyjamafoundation.com

Brighten a child’s life this Christmas

Christmas is all about spending time with our family and friends, enjoying the festivities and the food and exchanging gifts. For most of us, Christmas brings us a sense of warmth, love and happiness.

Sadly, for many disadvantaged Australian children who cannot live with their own families, Christmas isn’t a joyous time at all.  Many have no happy memories of Christmas – let alone received a present.

This year, you can make a real difference and help brighten the lives of Australian kids living in foster care.

With a small donation, you can give a child in care the best present ever – their very own Pyjama Angel to support them and help make their future a positive and happy one.

At The Pyjama Foundation, our mission is to make children’s dreams a reality; whether they want to be a teacher, engineer or doctor, through helping these kids with reading and writing – our mission is to help little people with big dreams.

With your help and generosity, we can brighten the lives of more children in care this Christmas and into the future.

Kind regards,

Bronwyn Sheehan
Founder and Executive Director
The Pyjama Foundation

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