Vernon Area Library donates mountain of pajamas, books
Rachel Shulman, Vernon Area Library's youth services librarian, shows off the mountain of pajamas and books donated for needy Lake County families. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 28, 2013 1:57AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — Despite the unseasonably warm fall, the frozen nights of a Chicago area winter will inevitably arrive in Lake County.
Before those nights come, though, a group of Lake County nonprofit organizations and a cadre of concerned citizens are working to get many of the region’s needy families prepared.
The Vernon Area Public Library wrapped up its second annual pajama drive on Thanksgiving, amassing a mound of sleepwear and books for children.
Youth services librarian Rachel Shulman said she hoped the results of the local effort would make a difference in many family’s lives.
“It think it was fantastic,” she said after the drive ended. “We got a lot of great feedback.”
As of Monday night, the library had collected 136 pairs of pajamas and 142 children’s books, with more still to be counted. In the drive’s first year, the library took in 173 pajamas and 239 books, sending it all to the Chicago chapter of the Pajama Program, a New York-based nonprofit that collects warm night wear for kids in need.
The Pajama Program’s local chapter is scheduled to deliver the goods to One Hope United, a Chicago-based organization serving victims of child abuse and neglect. Some of the pajamas are expected to make their way back up to Lake County, which Shulman said was crucial in soliciting participation from Vernon Library patrons.
“People really appreciate when donations stay local,” she said.
One of those appreciative groups is the Neighbors and Newcomers of Long Grove and Kildeer, a social club that looks for good to do. Mary Lee, chair of the group’s donation drive, said they got involved with the library program last year because of the help it would offer for Lake County.
“It’s something that could benefit lots and lots and lots of kids,” Lee said. “Our club is very focused that our contributions stay in our communities.”
Lee said that after their second year of working with the library, the group is planning many more. She added, however, that it would be hard to top the first effort. They donated 125 books by themselves in 2011, mostly because a nearby Borders was going out of business.
“We wiped out their $1 book table,” Lee recalled.
Shulman said she was grateful for the Neighbors and Newcomers’ contribution, regardless of what form it took.
“We always like to donate books,” she said.