On November 9th Pajama Program will be hosting its 8th Annual “Stuff a Bus” weeklong event to collect new pajamas and new books for children in need in Westchester County by Thanksgiving. With a goal to collect 5,000 pajamas and 5,000 books on Pajama Program’s decorated school bus donated by County Coach, many local Westchester schools, businesses and libraries will be participating in this annual event to help local children in need.
“Thank you to Dave Kucera, Kate Telfer and her daughter Haleigh for making our annual Stuff a Bus campaign possible,” said Genevieve Piturro, Founder & Executive Director of Pajama Program. “Eight years ago, Dave presented us with this idea from Kate’s daughter to stuff one of his buses and it’s been such a successful event in Westchester County that many look forward to participating in every year.”
From age 6-12, Dave Kucera, owner of the County Coach Bus used for the annual Stuff a Bus campaign, lived in Andrus Children’s Home in Yonkers, New York, where he remembers crying himself to sleep because he missed his mother. This is why each November Kucera is an active leader and participant in the “Stuff a Bus” campaign and the Tamarack Tower Turkey Trot in Port Chester, where he went to high school. Both programs offer new pajamas and books to underprivileged children including those Kucera holds close to his heart at Andrus Children’s Home.
“It’s a great campaign that teaches all involved the true meaning of charity,” Kucera said. “These pajamas are a sense of comfort for the children. Some of them have never even owned a pair. The pajamas are like a goodnight hug.”
The Stuff a Bus campaign came about eight years ago when Kucera’s secretary, Kate Telfer’s daughter, Haleigh, suggested he fill a bus from floor to ceiling with pajamas and books. Today, Kate is now the bus driver of the County Coach Bus, traveling to numerous schools throughout the week and filling the bus with thousands of collected pajamas and books.
The campaign has been a hugely successful local event that has demonstrated the generosity of spirit and caring of children and adults alike even during these challenging economic times. The enthusiasm is contagious – as the donated school bus stops by designated stops, beaming children pour out of their schools — many dressed in pajamas — with armloads of new PJs and books to “stuff” the bus for children in need, and this repeats itself over and over during the week-long campaign in front of local schools, libraries and businesses.
From November 9-13, 20 schools as well as the Ritz Carlton, Westchester Bank and the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce will be hosting drives to collect pajamas and books for Pajama Program.
Monday, November 9th
• 9:30am – Scarsdale Middle School (134 Mamaroneck Avenue, Scarsdale)
• 10:15am – Heathcote (26 Palmer Road, Scarsdale)
• 11:15am – Yonkers Montessori (160 Woodlawn Avenue, Yonkers)
• 12:15pm – Dodson (105 Avondale Road, Yonkers)
• 2:00pm – Cottle School (2 Siwanoy Road, Tuckahoe)
Tuesday, November 10th
• 9:30am – Coman School (558 Bedford Road, Armonk)
• 11:00am – Osborn (16 Osborn Road, Rye)
• 11:45am – Midland School (312 Midland Avenue, Rye)
• 1:00pm – Yonkers Chamber of Commerce (55 Main Street, Yonkers)
Thursday, November 12th
• 10:00am – Carrie Tompkins (8 Gerstein Street, Croton on Hudson)
• 11:00am – Todd (45 Ingham Road, Briarcliff)
• 11:30am – Temple Beth El Nursery (220 S. Bedford Road, Chappaqua)
• 1:00pm – Grafflin School (650 King Street, Chappaqua)
• 2:00pm – Bedford Road School (289 Bedford Road, Pleasantville)
Friday, November 13th
• 9:45am – Concord Road (2 Concord Road, Ardsley)
• 11:00am – Pelham Middle School (28 Franklin Place, Pelham)
• 11:30am – Prospect Hill (1000 Washington Avenue, Pelham)
• 1:00pm – Hutchinson (301 Third Avenue, Pelham)
• 1:45pm – Siwanoy (489 Siwanoy Place, Pelham)
• 2:15pm – Colonial School (315 Highbrook Avenue, Pelham)
Additionally, a Pep Rally will be held at Colonial School (315 Highbrook Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803) on Friday, November 13th at 2:15pm to announce the week’s total donations. Members of Pajama Program, including Pajama Program’s President & Founder, Genevieve Piturro will attend and address the audience as keynote speakers.
During the Pep Rally on November 13th, WFAS AM will be at Colonial School taping for their morning show with Pajama Program. Genevieve Piturro will be providing updates on the Westchester Stuff a Bus campaign and the collection totals. The radio segment will air on WFAS AM either Monday, November 16th or Tuesday, November 17th. In addition, Genevieve Piturro will be calling into WFAS AM each morning from November 9-13 with live updates on the number of pajamas and books collected.
The need for support and donations is significant. One in every 45 (approximately 1.6 million) American children go to sleep without a home of their own, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness. The numbers represent a grim 33% increase from 2007, severely impacted by the recession and record unemployment. Without a home of their own, the majority of these children sleep in their clothing worn that day because they don’t own even a single pair of pajamas.
Sponsors for “Stuff a Bus” 2015 include: Carter’s, Scholastic Book Clubs, County Coach Corporation, Mt. Carmel Pharmacy, Westchester Bank, Shydlo Communications and Modell’s. WFAS AM Radio is the Media Sponsor and will air LIVE updates from the bus each morning of the pick-up week Nov 9-13, and also broadcast the Pep Rally LIVE.
About Pajama Program
Pajama Program is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to delivering new, warm pajamas and books to children in need, many of whom are without parents and/or permanent homes. Pajama Program serves children ranging in age from newborn to 18 who live in group homes, shelters and temporary housing. Since 2001, Pajama Program has provided over 3 million new pajamas and books to children through 60 chapters across the United States. Pajama Program has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. Pajama Program meets the Better Business Bureau’s 20 charity standards, the highest ranking for non-profits.
For more information about Pajama Program and Stuff A Bus, please visit www.pajamaprogram.org For more information on participating and how to qualify for a “bus stop” during this week, please email