EJ’s PJs: One Pair of Pajamas Makes a Difference


Really, pajamas?! Yeah!

Patricia Poggi started EJ’s PJs off her front porch in Centereach in 2011. Thirteen years later, she has collected and distributed over 10,000 pajamas to eight states.

“You just don’t know anybody’s situations or circumstances, and throughout Long Island, there is a need. It’s pajamas; it puts such a smile on people’s faces,” said Poggi, founder and president of EJ’s PJs. “Kids just love it, and for the adults, there is nothing better than having your own brand new pair of pajamas. It makes you feel secure and happy.”

In 2011, inspired by her brother’s suggestion of donating to a local charity as a Christmas gift, Poggi looked at their own family Christmas “Poggi plaid pajamas” and decided to collect brand new pajamas and donate them. The first year, they donated 34 pairs of new pajamas to the Selden Centereach Youth Association.

Each year, they have grown, partnering with different businesses and organizations, such as Lighthouse Mission, the Town of Brookhaven Interface program, and Starbucks, to reach more children and families in need.

Her sons have played an important role in the growth of the organization. The name EJ’s PJs is inspired by her boys, Edward, Jeremy, and Patrick.

In 2022, her son Patrick, 14, envisioned expanding to be as big as Toys for Tots, which led Poggi to apply for nonprofit status, which she received in February 2023.

Patrick has always set the goal for the number of pajamas they hope to collect and donate each year: 1,000 in 2021, 2,000 in 2022, 4,000 in 2023, and 5,000 in 2024.

“I come up with the number by setting a goal of what we want to get to and strive to get to that goal by putting more effort towards it,” Patrick said.

In May 2024, Larry Farrish, a bus driver in Louisville, Kentucky, bought a pair of pajamas for a boy named Levi, who didn’t have pajamas to wear to school on pajama day. The story got back to Poggi, and she hosted an event for the children at the school in which they each got a new pair of pajamas.

“I didn’t know what I was doing, but I offered whatever we could do to help because this gentleman, Larry, essentially completed our mission statement: one pair of pajamas makes a difference,” Poggi said.

She has had people from Arkansas, South Dakota, Ohio, Colorado, South Carolina, and New Mexico reach out to her asking for help and pajamas after they heard about EJ’s PJs.

“My big goal is to have all of the United States know of EJ’s PJs and for everybody to be able to know that we are able to provide for them,” Poggi said.