Biggest ever Innisfail Pyjama Day raises a record amount for local foster children

Mundoo State School students in their pyjamas.

ONESIES, sleepwear, and slippers were the preferred attire when staff from local businesses recently wore their favourite PJs to work for the fifth National Pyjama Day, which raised just over $5,000 to help local foster children achieve their dreams.

Staff from eighty Innisfail businesses dressed in sleep wear and raised funds through ‘fines’ and donations. Cairns Hardware donated fantastic raffle prizes and businesses dressed up their shop fronts. 

South Johnstone, Innisfail East, Innisfail State, Mundoo, and Mourilyan State Schools also participated, and each raised between $100 – $200 for the cause.

Joeleen Bettini, the Far North Queensland coordinator of The Pyjama Foundation in Cairns, travelled to Innisfail to be part of the event.

Every year, CommBank Innisfail staff support The Pyjama Foundation with a fundraising event and were thrilled with the biggest number of individuals and businesses in the community who got behind the cause in 2021.

All funds raised go directly to The Pyjama Foundation who recruit, screen, and train dedicated volunteers to make an incredible difference to the lives of children in foster care.

A long-term local resident who has three foster children in her care has witnessed the positive benefits from the placement of Pyjama Angels.

“The Innisfail community is always very supportive of The Pyjama Foundation, and it is because of this amazing generosity that we are able to continue to grow and reach more children in foster care with our Love of Learning program”, said Ms Bettini.

Since the Pyjama Days were started by Margaret Milani, the Innisfail Branch Manager of the Commonwealth Bank, they have created great awareness in the community and from local foster families.  

“We currently have a waiting list of children in the region waiting for Pyjama Angels, so we desperately need more volunteer mentors.”

“The next training for prospective Pyjama Angels will be held in Cairns on August 22.” 

The Pyjama Foundation was founded in 2004 to give children in foster care the opportunity to change the direction of their lives with learning, life skills, and confidence.

Through a simple ‘Love of Learning Program,’ volunteers called Pyjama Angels are matched with a child in care and spend just one hour a week focusing on learning-based activities. 

Pyjama Angels read books aloud, play educational games, help children with their homework, offer mental support, promote self-advocacy, and show them they are valued and loved.

Anyone interested in volunteering, can find out more information and an online application form by visiting www.thepyjamafoundation.com, whilst foster carers, Child Safety Officers, and foster agencies wanting to refer a child can all use the same online form to request a Pyjama Angel. 

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