Teen’s pajama drive gives back to foster care community


Willia Burton-Orr of Cranston is a 16-year-old former DCYF foster youth who wanted to give back to her community. She recently organized a pajama drive to benefit children who are currently in foster care and, as of a week ago, she had collected about 40 pairs of new pajamas, some gently used pajamas and some additional funds to purchase more.

Associates at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) found out about her project through their volunteer efforts at the office. A group of colleagues at the EOHHS recently formed what they call “the Sunshine Committee,” which organizes opportunities for employees to give back to the community in various ways. 

In the past, the group has organized book and food drives, volunteered at the RI Community Food Bank and more. As part of its December volunteer efforts, the group decided to support Willia’s project. Willia had also reached out to her co-ed theater program at Bishop Hendricken High School and the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Providence to collect pajamas as part of her project.

Willia visited the EOHHS office in Cranston to pick up the pajamas they collected on December 20. Employees at the EOHHS felt this was a fantastic effort from a former foster teen who is thinking about others who were once in her shoes. 


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