Paula Trueman has spent hours poring over piles of pyjamas.
Trueman, a retired teacher from Miramichi, headed a project with the Rotary Club of Chatham this holiday season to gather 1000 pairs of pyjamas for families in need.
'It was kind of a nice problem, when we realized we had 1180 we thought "oh my goodness, how will we ever distribute all of these!"' — Paula Trueman
"They're warm and cozy and I think if we all think back at our own Christmas mornings we always had new pyjamas but not everyone has the luxury of having new pyjamas at Christmas time."
So, on the first of November, the pyjama drive began.
'We actually never thought we'd get 1000'
To spread the word, she and other Rotarians partnered with several car dealerships in the area, decorating vehicles with pyjamas, encouraging people to stuff the vehicles full of the bedtime clothes.
Before long, hundreds of pairs of cozy pyjamas were being donated. One woman, Trueman said, even made 10 pairs by hand.
"We actually never thought we'd get 1000 and then we visited the dealerships and we saw how well they were doing and we thought 'well we just might make 1000,'" she said.
After about six weeks of collecting donations, Trueman and the Rotary club ended up with nearly 1200 pairs.
'First of many'
Starting Dec. 11, they began delivering the pyjamas to the Christmas Hamper Programs in Chatham and Newcastle as well as to daycares, nursing homes, hospitals, shelters, Syrian families, First Nations communities and many more.
"It was kind of a nice problem, when we realized we had 1180 we thought 'oh my goodness, how will we ever distribute all of these!' — really, we could have distributed more," she said.
"When we delivered them to some of those places people were in tears … some people requested 30 pairs and we brought them 60."
Trueman said she hopes the pyjama drive will be back next year as long as the Rotary Club is on board once again.
With the Rotary Club and the community behind her, she said it could be "the first of many."