Ogdensburg sisters to end ‘PJs4Xmas’ after raising $57,000, helping 15,000

Ogdensburg sisters to end ‘PJs4Xmas’ after raising ,000, helping 15,000

OGDENSBURG — A goodwill effort to help the less fortunate that began a decade ago has come to a close, but not before the two sisters who sparked the labor of love raised nearly $57,000 and brought smiles to the faces of more than 15,000 children and young adults.The PJs4Xmas program was started by Ogdensburg sisters Camille E. and Abigail F. Marshall when they were ages 13 and 10, respectively. They began the community effort, which later earned official nonprofit charity status, after realizing one Christmas that not everyone in life was as fortunate as they were. And so, they turned their favorite annual Christmas ritual of receiving a new pair of pajamas into a labor of love that grew exponentially over the years to help kids and charities across the region.In a joint statement this week, the sisters, now 22 and 19, said they have made the bittersweet decision to end the community goodwill effort. They say the obligations of college and young adulthood were key factors.Camille, a recent Clarkson University graduate with a degree in biology and a minor in cognitive neuroscience and psychology, is currently attending Herkimer College with a long-term goal of becoming a doctor of physical therapy.Her sister Abigail is a sophomore at Utica College majoring in psychology and is planning to earn a master’s degree with the goal of becoming a social worker.“It is with sadness to write that our organization will be ending this year,” their statement said. “PJs4Xmas, our nonprofit organization, will not be collecting pajamas or money to help distribute to our local Christmas charities this year. This year, we are distributing what we have left in stock and trying to fill all orders as much as possible until funds run out.”They added, “We have had such a wonderful 10-year run, currently to date the organization has distributed to 15,007 children. The funds raised so far have been $57,928.65. We will keep you updated with our finishing total.”The girls’ mother, Melissa Carroll-Durham, said she and her husband Jacob have been honored and proud to watch their daughters take a simple idea and transform it into an inspirational act of love that has impacted thousands of families across a large section of the north country.“Camille and Abigail have learned so much from their organization, budgeting, learning how to speak in public, what a poverty line is, and most of all, to be humble,” she said. “You have all taught them so much as well. Showing love for complete strangers. Hugging the girls, telling our young girls what they are doing is truly a blessing for others. Cheering them on when they reached their yearly goal.”Mrs. Carroll-Durham said her daughters’ charity work also gained the notice of administrators at several universities across the local area and state. As a result, she said both were offered generous scholarship packages when it came time to graduate from high school.“None of this would have been made possible without all of you,” she said. “Due to their charitable work, the girls have received wonderful scholarships. I always tell the girls, ‘When you do good, good comes back to you.’”As the PJs4Xmas program comes to a close, Mrs. Carroll-Durham said her family is thinking about a new set of goals for the future, including the fact that she and her husband have become so-called “empty-nesters.”“This year, Jacob and I plan on setting goals for ourselves as well,” she said. “We are working toward our retirement, maintaining our good health and plan on volunteering through our community, traveling and seeing places we have never been, with a goal of moving to be closer to our family.”
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News
Ogdensburg sisters to end ‘PJs4Xmas’ after raising ,000, helping 15,000

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