LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP
The situation might be best described as a Catch-22.
Every year since the start of the effort titled the Pajama Program in Lower Macungie Township, residents give generously to help children in need. The Catch-22 is every year residents of Lower Macungie Township give generously to help children in need.
As of Dec. 4, organizers of the program at Lower Macungie Community Center gathered 157 pajamas and 109 books to give to children at KidsPeace, a private children's charity with several local locations. This year's donations packed a closet at the center.
When the program started in 2010, 90 pajamas and 109 books came in, according to community center records. In 2012, donations of pajamas rose to 140 and books dropped to 105. On Dec. 5, Bonnie Kirka, an assistant director at Lower Macungie Township Community Center, was optimistic more donations would come in.
Donations to the pajama program remain local, Kirka noted, "which makes a lot of people feel good" about giving.
Kirka has seen families who give to the program make a small ceremony of sorts of the act of donating. A parent will give a brief explanation of the reason for giving the pajamas or book and then the child will place the donation on the box.
"KidsPeace always responds well to us," Kirka said.
Last year's donations proved a challenge to get into the car of the KidsPeace volunteer who came to pick up the haul. The donations almost did not fit into the car.
"You get to see the joy of giving," Kirka said.
Collection begins in the fall with an announcement in the township newsletter sent to residents. A large collection bin arrives in the lobby of the Lower Macungie Township Community Center, 3450 Brookside Road, and the donations start coming in. Donations are accepted for infants through 18-year-olds. Pajamas and books for boys and teens are particularly needed each year.
Denise Foulke, Lower Macungie Townwship Community Center program director, started the project at the center after seeing a student flyer promoting the effort.
"What would be simple for anyone one of us (new pajamas and a book) can be really special," Kirka said of the program.
Distribution of the pajamas and books was expected to be completed by Christmas.