Children and Youth

3rd annual pajama drive aims to collect more than 125 donations

Diane Diaz Hopkins Insurance team collects comfortable new pajamas for foster children and other youth in San Benito County.
Gloria Zapien, Diane Diaz Hopkins, and Jatziry Moreno. Photo courtesy of Diane Diaz Hopkins.
Gloria Zapien, Diane Diaz Hopkins, and Jatziry Moreno. Photo courtesy of Diane Diaz Hopkins.
PJ donations received so far in 2021. Photo by Juliana Luna.
PJ donations received so far in 2021. Photo by Juliana Luna.

This article was written by BenitoLink intern Juliana Luna

Holidays are coming soon, and so is winter. In many households, children are in their pajamas ready to enjoy hot chocolate next to their fireplace. Diane Diaz Hopkins Insurance team of Hollister wants to ensure that children in foster care can enjoy this holiday tradition.

This is the third annual pajama drive hosted by the insurance group. The pajama drive collects sleeping attire for people in need between the ages of 8 and 21. 

Donations are sent to Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Benito County (CASA).

“We like to give back to the youth in our community. CASA is one of the main associations we like to support,” said Hopkins, who is also an advocate with CASA. “We’re looking for as many pajamas as possible. Last year we gathered 125 pajamas.”

The team is looking forward to collecting more. Esther Curtice, executive director of CASA, said the drive is focused on older kids because the last drive there was a shortage of pajamas for older kids. 

“The community tends to help out the younger children more,” Curtice said. “Our community is generous and supportive to our holiday projects.”

Hopkins said donations can be dropped off at 899 San Benito St. until Dec. 2. She added her team could pick up pajamas from different locations or residents can mail pajama donations to the address.

“It’s the holiday season and it’s cold. We want kids to enjoy being cozy and warm in their homes, to enjoy something new,” said Hopkins.

Some of the donated pajamas are given as Christmas gifts to kids at CASA. The rest of them are distributed throughout the year. 

“Sometimes kids are brought in [to CASA] without clothes or pajamas,” said Hopkins.

Hopkins said she has high school senior scholarships available as well. 

“We are passionate about helping youth,” she said.

 

 

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Juliana Luna

Juliana Luna is Hollister born and raised. She recently graduated from San Benito High School, 2021. Currently attending Gavilan College where she plans to earn her Business Associate’s Degree to transfer to a four-year university. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Pinnacles National Park, horse riding, and photography.