NJ twins hit the 10,000 mark for donated pajamas
A mission launched by twin sisters nine years ago as kindergarteners hasn't lost any momentum since, and may have more passion behind it now than ever before.
Mercer County 14-year-olds Lauren and Mackenzie Multari have collected 10,000 pairs of donated pajamas for kids in need dating back to their joint birthday in kindergarten, when pajamas for needy children topped their wish list.
And year after year, birthday after birthday, they've been asking for pajama donations instead of gifts for themselves.
"As we've gotten older, we have started to realize how much need there is," Lauren Multari told New Jersey 101.5. "In a way, we want to do it more, now that we have realized how much need there is."
Since the start, the girls said, support from friends, classmates and teachers has been crucial, and not difficult to find. The freshmen at Peddie School in Highstown reached out to the school community at the start of this academic year and immediately had a bin full of pajamas on their hands.
"After this I have to pick up more pajamas from a faculty member," Mackenzie Multari said.
The girls made their effort official in fourth grade, with the creation of their own nonprofit, Lala and Mimi's Pajamas Project — named after the nicknames they had for each other as toddlers.
Their primary focus is kids, newborn to 18 years old, in Mercer County but they've been known to spread their kindness elsewhere in New Jersey and beyond.
"For Hurricane Harvey, we gave an entire elementary school in Houston, Texas, a pair," Lauren Multari said.
A push for donations is a year-round effort for the girls. Currently, they're providing a pair of pajamas for every kid whose name appears on any school's holiday-time "giving tree" in Hamilton Township, their hometown.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.