At The Pyjama Foundation, we know that kids in out-of-home care are capable of anything they put their minds to! Still not sure? Here are 8 celebrities that have lived in out-of-home care…
National Pyjama Day is back and bigger than ever! Join us in our mission to support the educational and life outcomes of kids living in foster care, all while rocking your favourite PJs!
From April 4, in every Myer store across the nation, every purchase of a uniquely designed pair of The Pyjama Foundation X Myer PJ’s will gift $5 to the Foundation.
These are the inspiring words of 19-year-old Kiarna… a young woman who grew up in foster care who has faced more adversity than anyone ever should in their early years… who now has the dream to help change the life direction of other children, just like her.
Kiarna was only five years old when she went into foster care. At five years old, life was already so unstable, confusing, and chaotic… but it was all she knew. Her biological mother had struggled with bipolar disorder, and could not give Kiarna the attention and care she desperately craved.
If her childhood wasn’t already challenging enough, it took a heartbreaking turn when her mother died from a drug overdose when Kiarna was just 11, and her father left the picture after the funeral. She has not seen or heard from him since. For an eleven-year-old, life felt lonely and hopeless, and sadly, this was all that she knew.
Living in foster care felt constantly busy with other children in the home, mixed in with appointments and child safety visits. Growing up, Kiarna felt safe, but she also often felt lonely and lost. She felt different from other kids and like she didn’t fit in.
She often questioned her identity and place in this world which no child should ever have to worry about, but this was Kiarna’s reality.
All of these unfortunate events lead to mental health issues for Kiarna which made her teenage years more turbulent.
When Kiarna turned 13, an “Angel” was sent from The Pyjama Foundation. Her name was Dianne, and she reassured Kiarna that she wasn’t alone and that she was there to help guide her, mentor her and be there as a friend.
Dianne made a huge impact on Kiarna’s life. There were many life-defining moments but with her help, Kiarna managed to build her resilience and fight through everything that was thrown her way.
Dianne often read books with Kiarna, helped with homework and other schoolwork she struggled with. Mostly, she was a shoulder to lean and cry on, and an ear to listen to any of Kiarna’s worries or concerns. Life was better, and much more manageable with Dianne by her side.
As Kiarna got older, she became inspired by the work of The Pyjama Foundation and was in awe of volunteers, just like Dianne who wanted to help children in need and make a world of difference.
Now she wants to do the same for another child who may be going through what she went through.
Students from Townsville Grammar School have held a Wacky Tacky fundraiser in support of The Pyjama Foundation. Together they raised more than $600 to support children in out-of-home care.
Students and staff dressed up in their wackiest outfits for the last Friday of Week 8. Everyone was encouraged to wear bright clothes and bring even brighter smiles. The school community certainly delivered, with glitter and neon outfits to boot.
Townsville Grammar School captain of the junior school’s community service team Chloe Langtree organised the event. With the help of her fellow students, Chloe passionately got her school community board as a way to give back to her community.
“I chose to support the Pyjama Foundation, because I found what they did really helped the community.
The volunteers don’t get paid, and yet they turn up to help children in need,” she said.
“A Foundation like this one definitely deserves a cheer, and they have my full support. Dedicating fundraiser to them was a way of showing it.”
Townsville Grammar assistant head of junior school Chris Gray said it is important to foster sense of community as part of the culture of the school.
He also acknowledged the need for students and staff to have fun and bring “laughter and smiles” to the school community.
“The last couple of years have been particularly more about FUNraising as we had the flood last year and now COVID-19,” he said.
“Days like these also go a long way to bind us together as a School community and to build on the sense of pride we have for each other and our School.”
If you’d like to find out more about holding a fundraising event to support The Pyjama Foundation, please click here.
High profile celebrities are usually seen riding around in Premier Limousines’ luxury limousines, but this past Christmas some very special children were lucky enough to take a ride instead.
For many carers, Christmas can place a severe financial strain on their families; with many caring for upwards of five children at any one time. Carers so desperately want to ensure each and every child in their home is overwhelmed with joy on Christmas morning, as it’s often the reality that these children may have never experienced this magic before.
Each Christmas, The Pyjama Foundation team collects presents from generous community groups which are then given to children participating within its Love of Learning Program. This year they have teamed up with the very generous Premier Limousines to make Santa’s final visit before the big day extra special.
Our founder Bronwyn Sheehan said she’s proud to offer this special experience for these families this Christmas.
“It’s so amazing that we’re able to not only surprise these children with the appearance of Santa at their homes but also take them for a ride in a limousine, something they may never have the chance to do again,” she said.
WHY WE DO IT
Ms Sheehan said she wishes she could do so much more, with the number of children in care rapidly growing.
“Currently there are more than 48,000 children in foster care, and statistics show that approximately 75 per cent of these children will not complete high school,” she said.
“Many children in care bounce from home to home, and to difference schools which greatly hinders their ability to build relationships and meet learning milestones.”
The Pyjama Foundation recruits, screens and trains volunteer mentors, and then carefully matches them with a child in care.
Together, they focus on learning-based activities and games, with the aim of improving the child’s educational outcomes and confidence. Currently we are mentoring more than 1,400 children on a national scale with the hopes of expanding its reach in 2019.
To hire your own limo and feel like a star for an upcoming event or special occasion, check out our friends at Premier Limousines for a comfortable ride of luxury.
Across Australia, more than 30,000 children living in foster care won’t graduate from high school. The effect of bouncing from home to home often results in failure to reach literacy and numeracy benchmarks.
For over 15 years The Pyjama Foundation has been actively working to change this. By recruiting and training committed community volunteers the Foundation can help children in care thrive.
Today is International Giving Tuesday. To celebrate, Direct Connect Australia and Prism Surgical will match every donation made to The Pyjama Foundation for 24 hours. Therefore, this will double the already incredible impact a donation makes to ensuring more children can be supported in 2020.
Foundation CEO and executive director, Bronwyn Sheehan, is blown away by the support for the Christmas Campaign.
“We are always amazed by the support received at Christmas, but this year has been made extra special with the opportunity to match all donations for one day only,” she said.
“This is a chance for the community to make an even bigger impact with their donation, and to help us change the direction of a child’s life.”
It costs $800 to train every new Pyjama Angel. By raising $40,000 in donations for the 2019 Christmas Campaign, The Pyjama Foundation will be able to train 50 Pyjama Angel’s and, above all, support more children in foster care.
HOW TO DONATE
Head to our Christmas Appeal to make a donation which will be instantly matched* and have double the impact on a child who deserves it most this Christmas.
*Up to the value of $10,000. Donations made on 3 December for 24 hours only.