Extension Homemakers partners with Janet’s Jammies to sew hundreds of pajamas for children in need

3 weeks ago

For the second year in a row, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Homemakers across the state partnered with nonprofit Janet’s Jammies to make hundreds of pajamas for children in need. Volunteers from Homemaker clubs in Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock and Somerset counties turned piles of donated fabric into 260 pairs of flannel pajama bottoms.

When she heard about the effort of the Homemakers, Janet’s mother Shirley Ladd, said, “I think Janet would be in tears knowing that so many children have been blessed by the work of the Homemakers to assemble and distribute so many sets of pajamas in her name.”

A red heart is sewn onto each pair of pajamas to symbolize the love that went into every stitch. United Way in several Maine counties helped to identify families in need and then distributed the colorful pajamas with matching tee shirts to kids from ages 2-6.

“This has been such a fun project to work on,” said Diane Parent of the Caribou Homemakers group in Aroostook County.  “We’re all working together across the state for the same goal.”  

Lisa Fishman, state coordinator of Maine Extension Homemakers, agreed, “Whether the work was being done in Farmington, or Bucksport or Madison, everyone had the same goal: to get warm pajamas out to kids who needed them most.”  

United Way representatives across the state were thrilled to receive the pajamas, with several branches staying open beyond normal business hours to receive them. The director of the Boys and Girls Club of Augusta called to request additional pajamas to make sure they could meet the needs in their area.  

Janet’s Jammies was established as a nonprofit in 2021 in honor of Janet Brzozowski, an avid seamstress who loved sewing clothes for others. The organization was founded on Janet’s philosophy “to delight in the detail, to stitch care in every garment, and to wrap ourselves in the love of our family.”

The Maine Extension Homemakers are already stitching pajamas for the next distribution, scheduled for November. This time around, Janet’s Jammies is creating larger-sized patterns to accommodate older youth. The organization is also requesting donations of clean flannel material. If you have extra material you’d like to donate, contact Extension Homemakers State Coordinator Lisa Fishman at lisa.fishman@maine.edu.

The Extension Homemakers of Maine is a community-based organization comprised of caring and industrious individuals across the state. More than half of Maine counties have active chapters. Every year, Extension Homemakers take on a statewide project with the purpose of learning something new, serving others, and benefiting communities. To learn more about Extension Homemakers in Maine visit the program webpage at https://extension.umaine.edu/homemakers/.