An Idea Grows on the Subway

One day Genevieve Piturro was riding the subway to her boring day job. She knew that there was something more for her than being a marketing executive at a large corporation, something she alone was born to do. Genevieve had been spending her spare time with a Manhattan program that organizes volunteers to read bedtime stories to foster children. She was on the right track, but it wasn’t her exact calling. Then the idea came to her while she was lost in thought on the subway: pajamas.

Genevieve had learned that most of the children she read to every night slept in their regular clothes and some didn’t even know what pajamas are. She decided while on the train that she would bring pajamas to her group of foster kids at the shelter. That was five years ago. Now, her non-profit group, Pajama Program, has distributed more than 1 million pajamas to kids worldwide. And, if you’re in the NYC area, they also have a reading center on 39th Street in the City.

While I’m on the subject of kids and reading, there’s another wonderful non-profit group, near to my heart, designed to put books in children’s hands. It’s Room to Read. Realizing that 115 million children worldwide are not receiving any type of organized eduction, Room to Read also got involved in building schools and libraries in rural villages. Some of these children have never held a book, never flipped through the pages and magically been transported to another world. Give a kid a book. You can change his life.

So if you’re still lookng for a great way to give back this holiday season, you can donate new pajamas or books by going to their websites. As for me, I’m going to use my subway time to dream a little bigger in 2008.

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