“I’m Mackenzie and that’s Lauren, and together we are Lala and Mimi’s Pajama Project.”
Mackenzie and Lauren Multari have come back to Morgan Elementary School. It was here nearly nine years ago that they started a tradition of asking for children’s pajamas to donate instead of presents for their birthdays.
This tradition eventually became a nonprofit, one that has exploded in recent years. It took them just two years to match the number of donations they had in their first seven.
The girls’ goal was to donate 10,000 pajamas by the end of high school. Now freshmen at the Peddie School, they met it three-and-a-half years early.
It was during an assembly at Morgan Dec. 11, that the Multari sisters donated their 10,000th pair of pajamas. Ashely LaRose, the guidance counselor at Morgan Elementary School, received the donation, which then went to Morgan students in need as part of the school’s annual giving tree.
Lala and Mimi’s Pajama Project looks for pajamas for kids aged newborn to 18, with the hopes the pajamas give the child a sense of comfort in an otherwise difficult situation. Pajamas are very special to Lauren and Mackenzie, because they have received a pair from their aunt for every holiday or event. They said they couldn’t imagine not having a pair of pajamas to wear, so they decided to start collecting them to donate to children in need.
The girls, featured on this website two years ago, have donated to schools in Hamilton, such as Klockner Elementary School, and teamed up with other organizations to try and make a bigger impact. They have been on the radio, had a booth at the Oktoberfest, and even had a fundraiser at Texas Roadhouse.
Lauren and Mackenzie even go to stores to pick out the pajamas, and package each one by hand.
Pajama Day, which is the biggest fundraiser for the organization, has gone from just Morgan to all the schools in the Hamilton Township School District.
“As we have given out pajamas, we have realized that the people we are helping are often our neighbors and our classmates, and people we don’t think need help but just by reaching out we are able to help people,” Lauren said.
Their focus is mainly local, but they have gone national when the need presented itself. When Hurricane Harvey inundated Texas in summer 2017, the sisters sent hundreds of pajamas to elementary school children in Houston.
Morgan Elementary School second grade teacher Lori Hutchins taught Lauren and described her as someone who would always be the one to cheer up her classmate having a bad day. She said it was clear early on that the girls had a goal to develop their nonprofit into something big.
Morgan kindergarten teacher Cindy McCarthy taught Mackenzie, and describes both sisters as being genuine, kind girls.
During the Dec. 11 event, Lauren and Mackenzie lived up to that billing as they stressed the importance of how one person can directly impact others and how each and every person can make a difference.
“The people around you are the most important people to you guys, they are your community, and when you are in a community, you have to take care of others,” Lauren said.