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Bethel Baptist Church Donates Hand Sewn Pajamas to Jackson Elementary Students

The congregation of Bethel Baptist Church has a special place in their hearts for Jackson Elementary School. 


For years, the church has partnered with the school to provide mentoring through Kids Hope, as well as provide donated goods and services to the students and staff.


“Bethel Baptist is a true blessing to the staff and students at Jackson,” said Jackson Principal Ingrid Dillehay. “They have supported our students and staff through Kid's Hope, conference meals, school supplies, coats, and anything else we need. We appreciate their love and support for all they do for us.”  


The pandemic has limited the church’s ability to interact with students and staff this year. In addition, the construction of the new entryway at the school prevented a welcome back event the church planned to host outside the school for returning students and staff. Still, church members kept looking for ways to support the school. Jackson Elementary Classroom holding pajama donations from Bethel Baptist Church


Then one night, Bethel Baptist Pastor Aaron Adams had a dream. 


“I woke up in the middle of the night with an image of my oldest daughter, who is now a high school student, and she was wearing these pink, fleece pajamas with monkeys on them that she had when she was little,” Pastor Adams said. “I started to think about what that memory represented.”


When his daughter was young, Pastor Adams and his wife lived in a small, very drafty apartment in Chicago. In the winter, the wind would blow through cracks in the door and window seals. Those pink pajamas were important for keeping this daughter warm at night.


“The only reason she was warm in the winter was because of those pajamas, and because of the kindness of others,” Pastor Adams said. “So I began to think: What if we made enough pajamas for everybody at Jackson.What if that is why I had that dream?”


The Bethel Baptist parishioners loved the idea. Bethel Office Administrator Katie Stewart knew some people who liked to sew and organized the effort. In the end, more than 200 hand sewn pajamas and more than 100 purchased pajama sets were donated to the school, for every student in their own size.


Before they took the pajamas to the school, Pastor Adams said they brought all the pajamas to the front of the church one Sunday so the congregation could see what they were donating. Jackson student holding up pajamas


“They prayed that the students would feel warmth and love,” Pastor Adams said. “People were sort of in awe. It’s not a whole lot of people to make that number of pajamas, but they did it."


Kindergarten through second grade students, who returned to in-person learning this week, were given the pajamas. The students were excited as they unwrapped the packages, holding up their new pajamas and pulling them on over their school uniforms.


“It was so cute,” Ms. Dillehay said. “There were squeals of joy! The kids loved their pajamas.”


Knowing that every student has a warm set of pajamas fills Pastor Adams with joy, he said.


“It is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and community. We are a community. We are supposed to love each other,” Pastor Adams said. “We are not just here to meet on Sundays. We are here to make a difference. We want to do that for Jackson as much as we can, and for our whole community.”