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Child enrichment center collecting pajamas for LFS in Fremont
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Child enrichment center collecting pajamas for LFS in Fremont

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Angie Lange asks a simple question.

“Who doesn’t like to read a good bedtime story in their pajamas?”

Many folks do.

But not everyone gets such a warm opportunity.

So for the last nine years, Lange has spearheaded an effort that gets pajamas and new or gently used books to children during the holidays.

Lange is director and owner of Bright Beginnings Child Enrichment Center, 517 Seventh St., in Scribner.

From now through Dec. 13, area residents are encouraged to bring a pair of pajamas in sizes ranging from infant to adults to the center.

The pajamas must be new and manufactured as pajamas to ensure that they are flame retardant. Pajamas must be in complete sets. New nightgowns and new blankets are being accepted as well.

Books may be new or gently used.

At the end of the drive, the items will go to the Lutheran Family Services Rupert Dunklau Center for Healthy Families.

From there, pajamas will be distributed to families in this area.

“These items are needed more than ever,” said Michelle Padilla, program director at the Dunklau center. “The demand for personal items — especially for children — is overwhelming since the flood. Books are needed to bring some normalcy and distraction for the children/family.”

Lange said the drive begins when a letter is sent to parents of children who attend the center. The center then extends a request for donations to the community.

The pajamas are donated to LFS in Fremont, because it serves families in Dodge County of which Scribner is a part.

“We normally get a great response because we can say that the donations do stay local. To me, that’s important,” Lange said.

Children at the center enjoy seeing the donations that come in the door.

“Families come in and drop things off,” Lange said. “It’s fun to see the kids at the center get excited when new things come in. We talk about how some families maybe aren’t as blessed and maybe don’t have new pajamas and books, so this is a way we can help somebody out.”

Lange said she’ll set up a time — right before Christmas — to drop off the pajamas. She’s been told families really like to receive the pajamas and books.

In the past, donors have contributed between 60 to more than 100 pairs of pajamas, depending on the year.

“We’ve had some great donors over the past couple of years,” Lange said. “There’s one lady that lives in our community and she’s brought in over 20 pairs of pajamas. She said her family chooses to do something every year and they’ve chosen this the last couple years simply because they do know it is staying local.”

If Fremonters want to donate, they can bring the items to Scribner or take them to the LFS Dunklau center in Fremont and let personnel there know that the donation is part of the Bright Beginnings pajama drive.

Lange appreciates the donors.

“It melts my heart,” she said. “I’ve got a soft spot for kids and I know that not everybody is able to go even to Walmart and buy pajamas, so to see community people step up and make somebody else’s holiday a little brighter or winter a little warmer — it’s a nice feeling.”

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