GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH)– Kids wearing pajamas on Christmas is something many of us take for granted. When a Glastonbury 4-year-old found out some of his neighbors didn’t have any, he set some ambitious goals.
It’s a simple concept: cozying up in new pajamas at Christmas time. Four years ago when then preschooler Oliver Koenig-Paquin discovered new PJs are a luxury some children can’t afford, he set out to make a difference.
“I felt it was not fair for the other kids not to have PJs,” said Koenig-Paquin, 8-years-old, of Glastonbury.
It started as a preschool project. He began reaching out to family.
“My cousins, my aunts, my uncles, and my grandmas,” said Koenig-Paquin.
That first year he collected 122 pairs. Then he took to Facebook and more than doubled collections each year for four years.
“This year I want to collect 2,500,” said Koenig-Paquin.
So far Oliver’s collected over 600 PJs. But he still needs more donations to reach his goal of 2,500. Glastonbury businesses like Liquid Nirvana and their customers have stepped up to help.
“Helping this little young man. You know, an 8-year-old, do such a monumental task is every bit worth it,” said Rosy Kapur, Owner, Liquid Nirvana.
But where do the PJs go? Turns out, Oliver is a Junior Ambassador for the Pajama Program. Its Connecticut Chapter partners with the Department of Children and Families and community partners like Catholic Charities.
Some donations are pouring in from across the country. Oliver keeps a log in a spread sheet at home.
“At 4-years-old he was able to identify that there was such a huge need for helping others. It was really excited to see that,” said Danielle Paquin, Glastonbury.
Meanwhile, this 3rd grader at Buttonball School is already looking to double his collections next year.
“I feel really happy each year I collect PJs. That other kids are going to have PJs and are get a chance to have a warm snuggly night.”
Koenig-Paquin added that it’s safe to say this is his favorite part of Christmas, even more so than getting his own toys and presents.
If you would like to donate to Oliver’s Pajama Project, click here.