Pajama Parties Bond Chapters, Help Communities

P.E.O. Chapter CC of South Saint Paul, Minnesota, holds an annual "Pajama Party." Members come dressed in slippers, pajamas, robes or nightgowns(even in Minnesota's frigid winter weather) and bring dozens of brand new pajamas that are donated to an area shelter for homeless women and children. In the past four years, over 500 pairs of comfy new pajamas have been provided to make those difficult nights in shelters more comfortable for families. The "Pajama Party" is one of CC's most fun meetings of the year as members try to outdo each other with elaborate sleepwear and enjoy typical sleepover snacks.

In October, members of Chapter JV, Indianola, Iowa, heard a program presented by Des Moines businesswoman Kelly Sargent, who heads an organization that supplies new pajamas to victims on their first night's stay in one of Iowa's 27 domestic violence shelters. The organization, Helen's Pajama Party, is named after Kelly's mother, who was a victim of domestic violence.

Chapter JV members then collected new pajamas through December to donate to the project. In January several JV sisters attended a "Pajama Party" at an area hotel, where pajama donations from across the state were tagged, sorted and packaged for distribution at the shelters. Kelly hopes that the new pajamas will provide a sense of comfort and be a reminder that victims are not alone.

Prizes Offered for Perfect Attendance

Jean McClanahan, membership chairman of Chapter AY, Wynne, Arkansas, was looking for a way to boost chapter attendance. Along with committee members Myrtle Bradshaw and Camelia Kernodle, she decided on a simple but effective idea. As an incentive to encourage attendance,everyone having perfect attendance for the entire year would receive a prize. Only sickness of the sister or illness of an immediate family member would be excused. The prize was the object of much speculation and anticipation and remained a mystery until the last meeting when 10 members were presented with a beautiful pin with P.E.O. on it. There were four sisters who had only missed one meeting. This was an improvement over the previous year, when only one sister had perfect attendance. Each month Jean would report on the number of members with perfect attendance which made everyone more conscientious about attending and made a big difference in the life of Chapter AY.

Purse Sale Fun and Functional

Chapter JU, Sikeston, Missouri, held a Purses Earlier Owned sale and raised more than $1,000 for the P.E.O. projects. About eight months before the sale, members started saving purses they no longer carried. Each member was asked to contribute at least one purse. Many contributed more; in fact, over 200 purses were donated by 65 members. A booth was set up for the sale during a local spring festival. All purses were sold for either $5 or $10 depending on the condition of the purse; some were like brand new! Andsome of the best customers were each other! The few purses that were not sold were donated to a local women's shelter. This was a great way to clean out closets and raise money for P.E.O.

Books and Brunch Event Helps Women Reach for the Stars

Chapter FP, Wheat Ridge, Colorado, met their goal to measurably increase the chapter's giving to P.E.O. projects by holding a Books & Brunch event. Tickets for the event were sold to the public at $25 each. Three well-known and popular Colorado women writers donated their time to appear at the event, where they read from their work, took questions from the audience and signed autographs. A local bookstore provided the books for sale and a local caterer was hired to prepare a brunch of sandwich wraps and macaroni salad. A display table with brochures and posters explaining "All About P.E.O." was set up right inside the entrance. Chapter FP publicized Books & Brunch by reaching out to friends, neighbors, book clubs and libraries. Notices were also placed in newspaper and television community calendars. Ticket sales generated $2,900 for P.E.O. projects!

Bakeless Bake Sales a Unique, Easy Fundraiser

Chapter J, Knoxville, Tennessee, has raised nearly $2,000 by holding two "Bakeless Bake Sales." This unique fundraiser involves sending a creatively-worded letter or poem to all chapter members asking them to write a check instead of investing time and money into actually baking something. This poem by Alisa von Brentano was mailed to everyone in the chapter, along with a letter containing instructions on where to send their checks.

Bake Sales are being held every day
But we're going to do it a different way.
No raiding the cookbook for something to bake,
No cream puffs, brownies, pies, cookies or cake.

No trip to the store to buy what you need,
No blending, no stirring, no oven heat,
No toppings, no icings…Just get off your feet!
Your nerves stay unruffled; your kitchen stays neat.

Find a cozy chair and comprehend
Time, money, resources and energy spent
On this undertaking, then add up the sum
And donate it at our bake sale to come!

The result is the same; you've shown that you care
And helped a good cause by giving your share.
You will look back with pride and feel truly glad
For the carefree, bakeless bake sale we've had.

This fundraiser is unique because it gives a member of the chapter an opportunity to showcase her creative writing skills and it gives every member an opportunity to participate, even those who are unable to attend the meeting.

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